Some countries have a reputation for putting travelers at a higher risk for gastrointestinal illnesses. But you can get sick from an improperly handled meal anywhere in the world.
Pad thai from a Bangkok street vendor or raw milk cheese from a bistro in France taste delicious in the moment. But for many travelers, the local dishes that make trips meaningful sometimes give them food poisoning—and the wrong sort of vacation memories.
By some metrics, gastrointestinal infections related to food or water affect 30 to 70 percent of all travelers during or immediately after their trips, according to a 2015 study in BMJ Clinical Evidence. Each year, one in six Americans and nearly one in 10 people worldwide suffer from such illnesses caused by bacteria (E. coli, salmonella, listeria), viruses (norovirus, hepatitis A), or parasites (giardiasis, roundworms, tapeworms).
Lower-income countries have a reputation for putting travelers at a higher risk for food poisoning, but people are just as likely to be sickened from an improperly handled meal in Italy or Australia—or from some sushi at their local supermarket.
Here’s why people get food poisoning, what to do if it strikes, and how to (maybe) prevent it, read at the link above.