Most of us thoroughly enjoy eating while we travel. Taking a holiday or even business travel leads us to take a break from our at-home menu. Sometimes, even a downward tailspin from it!
However, eating out throughout the day makes you vulnerable to several illnesses including traveller’s diarrhoea and hepatitis A. The risk of contracting foodborne illnesses increases on eating food contaminated with microorganisms.
Getting sick on your trip, whether work-related or pleasure, hinders its very purpose. So, while travelling, you’re better off skipping certain foods, thus avoiding an unpleasant travel experience.
Here are the 7 foods you should always avoid while travelling:
1. Frozen foods
When travelling, what makes these foods risky to consume is the fact that more often than not, they undergo freezing, then thawing, and then refreezing.
This way, due to constant temperature variations, frozen foods become quite susceptible to developing deadly bacteria. Moreover, the ice used for freezing such foods could come from unfiltered water, thus contaminating the foods.
So, it’s best to refrain from eating travel staples like ice cream, even if you’re on a hot beach vacation. Also, avoid packing frozen foods like fries, pasta, and curries.
These food items contain plenty of preservatives that you ought to consume immediately through deep-frying or microwaving. If you pack such foods for long-distance travel, they’re likely to undergo decay and upset your tummy.
2. Non-peelable, fresh fruits
Practically, it’s best to avoid any non-peelable, fresh fruit. This holds, particularly, in less-developed nations where the local water is rarely safe for drinking and hence making food washed in it also unsafe.
So, while travelling, eating fruits like berries and apples is a strict no-no, no matter how convenient they are to carry along. Also, avoid eating fresh fruit platters and salsas made from them.
Washing fruits in impure water and also their places of storage expose them to harmful bacteria which could give you digestion woes while travelling. Eat only peelable fruits like oranges and bananas as their natural casing keeps them fresh and pure.
If you’re making a road trip with the family, make a good purchase from the roof rack store so that you can carry luggage and such fresh fruits in containers on the roof of your vehicle, freeing up space inside it.
When travelling, avoid salads because the raw vegetables, especially leafy greens found in the most likely contain toxins and germs coming from pesticide use, unhealthy exposure in the fields, or simply, poor washing.
Very often, the local water used for washing raw vegetables for a salad might be impure, making you sick. For instance, crunching on celery sticks washed with contaminated water could likely nauseate you.
So, while exploring a remote country, if you want to stick to healthy food, it’s advisable to buy packaged salads that have not undergone exposure to local water.
Also, keep in mind that in heavily polluted countries, the lower the vegetables grow to the land, the harder it becomes to keep them clean.
When travelling, avoid eating salad leaves like spinach and iceberg even in well-frequented eateries, as the likely usage of regional tap water for rinsing them can cause digestive disorders including Bali Belly or traveller’s diarrhoea.
4. Raw seafood
Not surprisingly, consuming raw or undercooked seafood poses a threat to your stomach as well as your overall health while travelling. Raw cuts of seafood likely contain plenty of disease-causing germs, so, consuming them can certainly ruin your trip.
Avoid raw shellfish at all costs because, besides the risk of suddenly discovering shellfish allergies during your trip, shellfish, being bottom feeders, carry significantly more bacteria as compared to other seafood alternatives.
Also, avoid eating food made from raw seafood like some varieties of sushi and also raw oysters and lobsters. The oysters collected from polluted or infected water may consist of norovirus, an extremely contagious virus inducing vomiting and diarrhoea.
If you’re a seafood lover, eat it only thoroughly cooked. For safely consuming shellfish, ensure that they’re well-steamed or boiled. This way you’ll be eating seafood that is devoid of illness-causing germs.
5. Unpasteurized dairy foods
Although dairy products are full of nutrients, it’s best to avoid them unpasteurized while travelling. Unpasteurized or raw milk can hide deadly bacteria that could cause food poisoning. Similarly, cheese, yoghurt as well as ice cream made from raw milk can likely cause severe health concerns.
Be extra cautious if you’re travelling with kids. This also holds good for people with weak immune systems.
If you’re not sure of the milk being pasteurized, consider having your morning coffee without milk. Some black coffee will surely pep up your mornings!
If you’re travelling abroad, resist the temptation of stopping by small, regional farmers’ markets and purchasing raw dairy items like milk and cheese.
While shopping at grocery stores, avoiding unpasteurized milk won’t be difficult, because unpasteurized milk products have relevant labels. For instance, you’ll come across unpasteurized dairy labelled as “raw mild cheese.”
Be wary of sauces while travelling, particularly, if you’re not aware of its ingredients. Being negligent in this aspect could lead you to consume such products prepared from contaminated water or raw herbs and eggs, thus posing significant health risks.
So, on your next trip, make it a point to resist dipping satay sticks or cuttlefish skewer in the local sauces, no matter how incomplete it’ll feel.
Having said that, if you simply can’t resist sampling sauces, doubly ensure that they’re thoroughly cooked and eat them while they’re still hot.
7. Buffet foods
Buffets are a breeding ground for germs because very often, thoroughly cooked buffet foods sit out for an indefinite time at warm or room temperatures, causing recontamination.
So, the next time, while travelling, if you can’t tell how safe the buffet spread is, avoid it.
And, if you come to know that the buffet dishes have been sitting at room temperature for longer than a couple of hours, don’t even think twice about skipping the food. This way you’ll certainly save yourself the misery of suffering from food-borne illnesses.
So, now you know which foods to never eat while travelling. Make sure to avoid them on your next trip, making it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.