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One of the most common discomforts travelers experience while away from home is caused by not knowing proper food and drink precautions.

Here are some guidelines to follow so you can stay healthy.

Water

Ice water with lemon

In areas without chlorinated tap water, or where hygiene and sanitation are poor, travelers may find that only the only safe things to drink are:

  • Beverages made with boiled water
  • Canned or bottled carbonated beverages, including carbonated bottled water
  • Beer and wine

Helpful Hints

  • In areas of unsafe water, ice should also be avoided.
  • When drinking bottled beverages, surfaces which come in direct contact with your mouth, should first be wiped clean.
  • Brush teeth and rinse toothbrush with bottled, boiled or treated water.
  • Boiling is the most reliable method for making water safe to drink. Bring to a vigorous rolling boil for one minute and allow to cool to room temperature. At very high altitudes, above two kilometers, longer boiling or chemical disinfection will be necessary.
  • Chlorine is less reliable than iodine for chemical disinfection.

Food

crab fish mediterranean seafood boarding from fisherman boat

Food should be selected with care. All raw food is subject to contamination. Eat only cooked food that is still hot, or fruit that you peeled yourself.

Here are foods to avoid:

  • Salads
  • Uncooked vegetables
  • Unpasteurized milk and milk products (such as cheese).
  • All raw seafood.
  • Shellfish that may come from polluted water.

Choose ocean source seafood that is well cooked and served hot.