Tummy-tormenting illnesses, like E. coli infections, have made news in the past year. To avoid spending a holiday near the toilet and protect yourself from food poisoning, digest this food-safety refresher.
1. Don’t drink tap water
If you’re traveling in developing countries, stick with bottled H2O and use it to brush your teeth. Also, ask for no ice and be alert for items that may be made with tap water (like an ice pop), since even a small amount can contain bacteria or viruses.
2. Order vegetables cooked
Seedy and leefy vegetables are among the top sources of food poisoning, per a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report last year. If you’re dining where the water may be iffy, go for the sautéed or baked veggie sides instead of raw options; high heat will kill most harmful bacteria.
Health.com: 9 Foods to Avoid When Your Tummy Hurts
3. Skip street food
Food carts may not be held to the same hygiene standards as restaurants, and you don’t know whether the ingredients are fresh or how long the food has been sitting out. If you want to try a local delicacy on the street, order something you can see come hot off the grill.
4. Be prepared
Take Pepto-Bismol (for up to three weeks) as a preventative measure; studies have shown that ingesting 2 ounces of the liquid or two chewable tablets four times a day before and during travel may cut your risk of traveler’s diarrhea in half.