Ann Gabriel | Pinoytrekker

Food poisoning is an illness that is caused by eating contaminated food. Bacteria, viruses and parasites — or their toxins are the leading causes of food poisoning. These infectious organisms can contaminate food at any point of food production. Chances are you might not be able to avoid it completely, even in your own home. That is why proper handling of food is regularly advised by healthcare professionals.

The symptoms of food poisoning can start within hours of eating food, that is already contaminated. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Worse cases lead the victim to hospital confinement.

Travelers are not exempted from this illness, as there is a large possibility that any victim can contract this disease while going on a holiday.

1. Bring your own clean drinking water

Never drink directly from faucets or other possible contaminated sources of water. Don’t accept any drinking water from strangers. It is better to bring along your own bottled water, for drinking. Never request ice from food stops, and be aware of food that has been made with tap water. Small amounts of seemingly innocent water may contain bacteria or viruses.

2. Eat cooked vegetables. 

My dad became a victim of food poisoning from eating leafy vegetables and fruits in a seemingly friendly food stop in Baguio city. Always go for the ‘cooked’ veggies, instead of eating them raw. It is said that high heat will kill almost all harmful bacteria.

3. Refrain from eating street food

You might be tempted to eat ‘kwek-kwek, isaw, betamax or breaded pusit’ along the streets. Food carts may not be able to maintain the same hygienie standards that are being mandated for restaurants. You’ll never know if the ingredients used are fresh. If you want to try something new, eat in the local restaurants that have hygiene standards and have been regulated by the government.

4. Be ready.

It pays to be ready. Be proactive by making sure that you have the necessary preventive measures and medicines once you travel and dine. Food poisoning ruins the experience of travelling.




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