You are having the time of your life on that dream vacation and nothing else matters. The fun and excitement mixed with the beautiful scenes and amazing cultures leaves you not wanting this to end. Just when you thought everything you ever dreamed of was happening right before your eyes, you begin to feel uneasy with that tingling feeling in your stomach. Immediately, you start to feel nauseous and then bowels are let loose. So much discomfort that the excitement turns to anxiety.
Not knowing what to do next, you may want to end the trip abruptly and head back home. A fun vacation that started so well may just be turning sour. Food poisoning is one of the most common illnesses that many tourists and travellers contract away from home. Although many people blame it on the difference in environmental conditions and types of foods, the basic threats go beyond this. Jumia Food , looks at a few ways to avoid food poisoning on a fun vacation.
Check for Expiry dates - Often when we buy certain packaged food items such as canned beef, sardines, baked beans or boxed cereals like corn flakes, powdered milk and juice, we forget to check for the expiry dates. Whether it has to do with trust or the general assumption that things bought from the supermarkets and renowned shops are whole, this may cause serious health problems. Sometimes, if these items are too close to expiry dates, it’s not advisable to eat them. In order to prevent food poisoning, always ensure that expiry dates are checked and that they fall within safe dates. Never consumed an expired product even if it expired a few seconds ago. Be safe and enjoy your trip with no food poisoning discomforts.
Wash hands and food thoroughly - As children, almost everyone kept hearing this phrase as though it was the national anthem for food. ‘’Wash your hands well before you eat’’ was the cry from our mothers anytime food was ready. This becomes a part of you after several years of practice. However, sometimes when you are far away from home in different circumstances, this value escapes you. Imagine that time on the street when you were introduced to that local snack? Even before your guide could say jack, the full piece was right down your throat. Even when you have been starved all day and you chance upon some local food, you may forget to wash your hands properly which may result in contaminating food with germs picked up throughout the day. Also, fruits and vegetables that are often eaten raw should be well washed before consumed. Eating a fruit directly plucked from it’s tree exposes you to the dangers of getting poisoned by the food. Be careful, you must eat to survive but ensure to eat clean well washed food with your hands well cleaned.
Never eat cold food - Who eats cold food? Maybe out of the over 7 billion people in this world, you may find about a meagre 1% who prefer cold food to hot meals or just eat cold food for other reasons. Ideally, food unlike revenge is best served hot. Whether at home or away on a vacation, always ensure that food is hot and never cold. Cold foods are just the perfect places for bacteria and germs to grow and cause damage to us. No matter the situation, you should insist that food is served hot or in extreme cases warm. Cold food hardly even tastes that good. Especially in remote areas where food is often exposed. Food poisoning comes in many different forms therefore to safeguard yourself , just be careful about what you eat.
Eat locally recommended food - When you go to Rome, you do what the romans do right? Eating local food may just be what saves you from food poisoning. You may need to be extra vigilant though not to follow blindly. Eating locally recommended food may be safe since many people eat it and remain healthy. However you should take the fact that it’s a different environment into consideration. You know yourself and what you are intolerant to. So although you heed advice from local people on what and where to eat, be careful not to get into trouble. In order to be extra sure, you can also order for your meals online and get it delivered to your doorstep. At least, this is very reliable and you are somewhat sure of hygiene and quality.
Drink safe water - Water is life! Without water, how do we survive? But it’s not just water that keeps us alive. We are better off drinking clean water than just any water. In Africa and Ghana, you may be tempted into drinking available water to stay hydrated because of the heat and humidity. The weather may just push you into drinking any kind of water that will end you up in trouble. Contaminated water can cause many stomach problems and in some cases food poisoning. Ensure to buy bottled water or water from credible sources. If you must drink water, ensure that the water is safe. What you drink can make or break that vacation.
In a nutshell, you can’t just eat and drink as you like on a vacation . Although you want to be free and do what you like, the moment you get food poisoning, your entire vacation is ruined! The choice is yours. BE SAFE!!!
Credit : Bennet Otoo, Jumia Food