Traveling can be educational, exciting, energizing, and exhausting and the food you enjoy while traveling can be memorable and delicious. On one hand, it is exciting for the eyes but it isn’t always for the mouth. Only one wrong bite can spoil your trip even if you don’t actually get sick. So, if you’re not paying attention to food rules for safety while traveling, culinary excursions can be a danger to your health.
When it comes to food safety the golden rule, among food rules for travelers, is proper hand washing. Wash your hands with water and soap after you use the bathroom and before you eat. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when water and soap aren’t available.
Although most of the fun is enjoying the local food, keeping a few consistencies will balance out some food-ventures gone wrong and keep you comfortable.
There’s a lot more that you can do to fend off food safety risks. When drinking and eating while traveling, follow these food rules for making it the safest culinary adventure you can.
Keep it Simple
If the menu is not in your language just ask for raw, sautéed, or grilled veggies. This easy and quick plate translates to every chef. From there you can add a protein or a grain if you like but at least you have a start with something not covered with something you may not want.
Be Safe With Water
You’ll probably be more active than usual so drink water as much as you can. Although many places praise their tap, always order bottled water. This also goes for anything made with water, such as a fountain or ice drinks. (1)
If you are an everyday juice/smoothie person, prepare to improvise heavy. Bring some packets of various powders that can easily dissolve into water or juice to keep your smoothie groove going. Spirulina and acai powder are easily dissolved into citrus and these are great go-to’s, since you may not have a blender at your disposal.
Don’t Skip Your Breakfast
Touring around and being out of your element may burn more calories than when you are at home. So try not to skip breakfast because this is definitely not the time. Every town has some sort of market; take a look at it for your favorite vegetables and fruits. Carb-rich apples, good fat avocados, and potassium-packed bananas, and are pretty practical because they last longer and are easier to eat.
Granola For Energy
If you need a little more than fruit – granola or muesli can be a great energy go-to for the mornings. You can take it as a snack while you are out and about. Always choose a granola high in fiber and with no added sugars.
Additional Food Rules For Travelers
- Meat, eggs, fish, and shellfish, are unsafe to eat when raw, even at a fancy hotel.
- Remember the two-hour rule. Eat the food, no matter if hot or cold, within two hours of purchasing. This way bacteria will not have time to multiply.
- Clean off your tray table with disinfectant wipes before you use it and never put food directly on the tray table.
- Really the aromas may be tempting, but consider skipping food from unknown street vendors.
- Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
- Rinse all fresh produce under running tap water before eating it or packing it in a cooler.