There are a few things i’ve learned about unsafe food so far on my travels that will hopefully assist me and my stomach in the future…
Imagine for a moment… you’ve woken up in the idyllic setting of a Railay Beach resort in Thailand, keen to get around doing some rock climbing, or scuba diving or generally hang out on the beach… you wake up 1/2 an hour before you have to so that you can gulp down 2 imodium with water and lie there fingers crossed that they take hold for the next few hours… you know at this stage that if you stand up at any point, you will be calling god from the porcelain telephone all morning or worse things will come from the other end… you know this because this is the same routine you have had to endure for the past week…
… all because of a ham sandwich… a last-minute… “yeah whatever, that will do…” ham sandwich…
The kitchens of Thailand, as a general rule don’t really follow the same strict refrigeration rules and regulations we have come to enjoy in Australia, and their preparation procedures can sometimes leave a lot to be desired as well. I know you’re probably thinking “duh, of course! Why would you even eat a ham sandwich over there?” and my answer would be…
“Yes… I’m an idiot” I didn’t think… I thought I’d be ok… and I let my concentration lapse.
Even though losing 11kgs in 2 weeks might seem a blessing to some, getting dysentery whilst overseas (I’m lucky it wasn’t worse and my imodium x buscopan concoction worked) isn’t for the faint hearted and can leave you incredibly weak, incredibly tired and it incredibly f*cks up your trip… So here’s a list of things to consider food wise (more so in S.E Asia) to hopefully help others avoid my messy fate:
- Don’t drink the water…
- See above… ice = water… don’t drink that either
- See above above… Shakes (i.e. Mango Lassi or any Lassi etc.) = water
- If you are going to drink the water, buy those purifying tablets (even though they taste like crap)
- Boiling water first also works a treat
- Bottled water = OK 🙂
- Don’t drink the shower water and use bottled water to brush your teeth
- Avoid Cold meat platters, cheese platters
- Avoid unpasteurized dairy products (check the labels)
- Eat where lots of people eat… never eat from a street vendor with no-one there
- Eat what you can see has been or is being freshly cooked
- Wash your hands before you eat… there is always poo on them apparently
- Make sure the water you wash your hands with is “safe water”
- Check that the cutlery is not too filthy… cutlery sometimes = hands
- Beware of raw meats, runny eggs and fruit you haven’t peeled yourself
- Edit from wordpress comment: Avoid shellfish as the refrigeration temps are all over the place (Thanks Misty!)
- And the best of the best tip… Alcohol and spice is everything nice! They both contain goodies that kill germs… while this isn’t a foolproof remedy I can recommend this option!
So there you have it… if there are any other suggestions or home remedies to prevent against or cure getting food poisoning I’d love to hear them!