To get sick or not AKA a guide to eating street food

Part of what makes your backpacking adventure great is the street food that you are bound to encounter it. Some, however, receive a bad reputation on account of the bouts of sickness that they have been known to cause.

1. Eat street food

Street food despite the claims of being the culprit behind most bouts of travelers diarrhea isn’t to blame. Most bouts of diarrhea are caused by unhygienic preparation of food and this can occur anywhere from 5-star restaurants to the rickety cart that sells street food.

2. Do your research and be prepared

If there are particular allergenic you would like to steer clear of, it is best to know their names in the local language in order to check with their maker.

3. Eat where the locals eat

The street food vendor with the highest traffic is also the one with the best and freshest food.

The locals can’t be wrong.

4. Look who’s eating

It is important to eat where the locals eat.

It is however also important to look at the demographics of those in line. If the food being served is served to children the food has a higher chance of not reacting negatively with you.

5. Watch your food being prepared

Is the maker of the food wearing gloves during its preparation? Are the vegetables being washed thoroughly? Is it one person handling the money and doing the cooking? Is the food made under high heat?

Keeping an eye on the manner in which the food is being prepared will help you assess its hygiene.

6. Be wary of the drinks

The stomach-churning bacteria isn’t in the food at times. It might be in the drink that you buy to accompany your meal.

We recommend steering clear of dairy products as they tend to spoil easily.

It is also best to refrain from drinking tap water. We suggest purchasing sealed bottles of water.

7. Eat when the locals eat

Street vendors are at their busiest when it’s time for the locals to eat. The food, therefore, will fresh.

8. Watch out for the cutlery

We recommend carrying baby wraps to wipe the cutlery clean before digging into your food.

You can alternatively carry your cutlery with you. It doesn’t take much space at all!

9. Watch out for the meat

Meats tend to go bad faster and carries a higher risk. Vegetables are a safer bet.

Vegetable street food is delicious!

10. Cook fully

If in doubt about the hygiene of the food, ensure it is hot or cooked in high temperatures in front of you.