Traveling to Mexico? Here’s how to avoid food poisoning on vacation.

Food Poisoning News

The inexpensive food and delicious smells often tempt travelers to purchase food from the numerous street vendors. Before indulging, however, it is recommended to be vigilant of how ingredients are stored and how the raw meats are handled. Food that is cooked in front of the customer, rather than appearing to be pre-cooked, is a much safer option. When food, even if cooked, is left at room temperature too long, the dangers of cross-contamination and bacterial growth are much higher.

An easy rule to follow is also simply trusting your instincts and avoiding vendors whose food carts are untidy or produce rotten odors. Look for hand-sinks, access to water, or refrigeration units.

Ceviche is also a very common dish in Mexico. Raw fish is exponentially more likely to be contaminated than cooked fish, especially if it is not stored correctly. Travelers should be especially wary of eating ceviche in an area that is farther away from the coast where the fish have to be stored for longer periods of time.  In addition, all ceviche stands should have refrigeration units or copious amounts of ice.

Mexico also has a long history of unsafe drinking water – often the source of “traveler’s diarrhea.” It is generally recommended to not drink water straight from the tap or to use ice cubes made from tap water. Even if the water is purified at the source, the pipes that the water passes through may not be sanitary. Caution should also be exercised when purchasing fruit juices or horchata made with ap water.  Recommendation? Stay hydrated by drinking bottled drinks.

Travelers to Mexico will have a more enjoyable trip if they make wise and informed choices regarding the food they consume. But don’t leave home without anti-diarrheal medicine!

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