Street food is ready or quickly made food sold on the street or meant to be taken out to the street. Street food covers a wide variety of types of food, from exotic dishes in Asia to the gelato shop in Italy to the local food truck down the road. Whatever it is a lot of people are afraid of it. They fear that the food will get them some terrible stomach virus, aka Traveler’s Illness. Now this can happen but there are some tips to be able to enjoy these local delicacies and avoid the dreaded upset stomach. A lot of this is knowing what your stomach can handle; my stomach is sensitive so I follow a lot of these tips.
Some people believe that restaurants are safer that street food, but this is not always the case. You can physically see the kitchen at a street vendor so you know what is happening; you can better judge how well the food is being prepared. I know I have gotten food poisoning several times at an actual restaurant.
Food allergies are a major concern for people that have them. There are a couple sites where you can get a translation card with your particular allergy, be it celiac (gluten) or peanuts, to show to vendors to make sure they do not add those ingredients. Which is another benefit of street food; you can customize it (usually without a fee). These cards also come in medical allergies or medical information. These companies have such cards: Select Wisely and Allergy Translation.
When you do get sick: Hydrate!!! Grab some oral rehydration salts (which if you do not bring with you, you can find in most pharmacies worldwide), which serious travelers swear by. Try to keep to a bland diet until it passes (which I know can be hard when you are away from home and do not want to miss out on new experiences), such as rice/bread and bananas. Water! And I mean bottled, the seal is still there water. I made this mistake in South Africa, I was sick as a dog and kept drinking the REFILLED bottle of water the hotel provided (as in LOCAL TAP WATER---AVOID!!!) and I stayed sick until I switched to sealed bottled water. It is also a smart idea to bring some probiotics with you, help battle those nasty bacteria with the natural good bacteria.
So that is my advice on street food, or food in general when traveling. For water, unless the country states it has safe tap water, like Italy does, purchase some sealed bottled water at the local convince store. General rule of thumb is knowing your limits and be smart about food, and this can change per location. Try new things! Be adventurous but be safe too! Enjoy!
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