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Eating is definitely the best part when travelling, but this thing that we do for at least three times a day puts us at risk of falling ill, especially in places where food and water are unsanitary. Depending on which part of the world you are in, stay unharmed by Montezuma’s revenge as we give you tips on fending off bacteria, parasites and viruses as you leave your footprints around the world.
1. Raw Food
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As much as you enjoy the fresh sashimi in Japan, or salads offered just about anywhere in the world, be wary of the consequences you might facing. Raw foods are subjected to contamination and travellers should try to avoid anything uncooked and unpasteurised since there's no heat to kill any bacteria that may be present.
2. Tap Water
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Always, always, always boil water from unknown sources before gulping it down. As contaminated water is one of the world’s leading causes for illnesses, avoid consuming beverages that may be mixed with local tap water supply or ice, since freezing does not kill most microorganisms.
3. Street Food
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The horror! Can you imagine going to Taiwan Shilin Night Market or Thailand Chatuchak Market and not indulging yourself in their street food? We can’t either! You are going to find a lot of mouth-watering food by the street and it is going to be tough resisting them.
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Although cheap and yummy, ingesting street food increases your exposure to germs that cause gastrointestinal infections, leading to diarrhoea or vomiting. If you're suay, poor hygiene practiced by hawkers when handling street food can cause some of the more dreadful diseases like Trachoma (a potentially blinding eye disease caused by bacteria), Scabies (a persistent irritating rash caused by tiny crawling mites) and Podoconiosis (swollen limbs with thickened skin).
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Alas, many of us succumb to the temptations of street food because they are too mouth-watering to resist. Fear not because here are some tips from KKday to help you avoid any displeasure you may encounter from your food adventures:
- Do not eat anything that has been sitting around even for a short while
- Pick food stalls many people patronise as they have a quicker turnover of food
- Buy only from clean stall and fly-free
- Look out for the vendor’s hands and utensils – are they clean?
Other than being on the look out for the four points we mentioned, you can choose to follow street food tours to avoid the whole trouble of scurrying around, looking for washrooms! Here are some street food tours that you'll enjoy: