How to Eat and drink safely while traveling
This is how to eat and drink safely while traveling locally or abroad
To choose what to drink and eat, the following basics should never escape your mind:
How to eat and drink safely: Do not just eat anything because you are hungry. Food and water are the deadliest agents of transmitting disease.Cold foods are the most dangerous. Ice cubes could also be fatal depending on what kind of water was used to make them.
Unclean food and water can cause travelers’ diarrhea and other diseases. Reduce your risk by sticking to safe food and water habits.
As much as possible, drink bottled water to avoid water-borne diseases – ensure the lid of the bottle is well sealed before you buy it. If you can’t get bottled water, boil tap water, use chlorine tablets or iodine to sterilise it.
Remember to only eat fruits and vegetables if you have washed them in safe water or peeled them yourself. Avoid salads, or other items that are made with fresh produce. Drink water only if it has been boiled or disinfected or if it is in a commercially sealed bottle. Use ice made only from purified or disinfected water.
To Eat and drink safely:
- Food that is cooked and served hot
- Hard-cooked eggs
- Fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself
- Pasteurized dairy products
If you want to eat and drink safely:
- Food served at room temperature
- Food from street vendors
- Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs
- Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or fish
- Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- ”Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game)
- Bottled water that is sealed
- Water that has been disinfected
- Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
- Carbonated drinks
- Hot coffee or tea
- Pasteurized milk
Use ice made only from purified or disinfected water. Commercially sealed beverages in cans or bottles and served unopened, such as carbonated drinks, and drinks made with boiled water and served steaming hot, such as coffee and tea, are generally safe. Brush your teeth with purified or bottled water.
- Tap or well water
- Ice made with tap or well water
- Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
- Unpasteurized milk
Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Kenya for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.
Talk to your doctor about how to prevent malaria while traveling. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, especially if you are visiting low-altitude areas. See more detailed information about malaria in Kenya.
If you have failed to eat and drink safely and you happen to fall sick:
Take Medicine but remember to:
Talk with your doctor about taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs with you on your trip in case you get sick.
If you do happen to get sick with traveler’s diarrhoea (or another food-related illness) while you are away, don’t panic. You should be back on the tourist trail in a couple of days. In the meantime:
- Make yourself as comfortable as possible in your hotel or hostel and plan to stay put for a few days. Your body needs rest, fluids and a bathroom.
- Take a loperamide-based drug (such as Imodium). If you do not have any in your bag, head to a local pharmacy. Or, better still, send your travelling companion so you can stay in bed.
- Keep drinking water. Small sips often will help your body keep the water down.
- Listen to your body. When you start feeling ready to eat again, stick to simple food like toast, crackers, bananas and rice.
Sometimes traveller’s diarrhoea will need medical attention. Contact a doctor or go to a hospital as soon as you can if you are experiencing:
- frequent vomiting for more than two days
- severe diarrhoea for more than three days
- blood in your vomit or diarrhoea
- high fever (39°C or over)
- extreme abdominal pain
- signs of dehydration (such as dizziness or a dry mouth).
Eat and drink safely: The problem with fruit juice
Lack of fibre is the key problem. Juicing releases the sugars in fruit and removes the insoluble fibre; blending also releases the sugars and tears apart theinsoluble fibre. Most of the sugar in fruit is fructose, which can only be processed by the liver. A small amount of fructose, in an apple for example, does us no harm because we consume it along with the fibre. Fibre protects us against the effects of fructose by slowing its absorption, and also makes us feel full. Fruit juice, on the other hand, is absorbed immediately, like all sugary drinks, as the fibre has been removed.
Some experts say that drinking fructose in liquid form stops the liver from doing its job properly, which is linked to a range of health problems, including obesity, type-2 diabetes and increased fat production, including in the liver itself.
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