12 tips to Stay Safe while eating Street Food

One of the guys at work said to me today: “you don’t eat street food do you?:

I nodded enthusiastically as I have eaten soup surrounded by rubbish and dogs in Cambodia, squatted with locals in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, shared falafels in Jordan and snaffled pork rolls in Portland, Oregon. For a couple of dollars I have eaten like a king in cities across the globe!

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Yummy crispy omelettes cooked in front of us in HoChi Minh City

But “I have some rules”….

  1. I take time to adjust to the local cuisine. My mistake is getting off the plane and grabbing something immediately!
  2. I find by eating local yoghurt seems to prepare my stomach for local bacteria. It may be a myth but its an important placebo for me.
  3. The more popular a place, the more likely I will go there
  4. Some countries rate their food stalls. Go for the higher rated ones where this occurs
  5. Wash your hands or use anti bactreia gel or wipes. I have towelettes to wash my hands before eating
  6. Some foreigners jump straight into eating highly spiced food and then regretting it- this is about enjoying food not showing off how tough you are
  7. I never eat sushi, dairy, ice cream or chicken at a street stall – these are all danger foods. This includes mayonnaises! I avoid ice as much as possible. I am very careful about fresh fruit- what has it been washed in? what was the knife like that was used to cut it?
  8. Soups cooked at a high temperature are usually safe. Fried, boiled, or baked kill germs.
  9. I like to see food being prepared and served quickly- it reduces the chances that the food had had flies land on it and/or got to the temperature danger zones. I have seen tourists get ill while eating at five star hotels and not seeing the food preparation areas makes me question their hygiene standards
  10. If plates, pots or surfaces are dirty, I do not eat there
  11. I carry my own chopsticks and eating utensils and clean themIMG_0449
  12. I relax and enjoy the food, ambience and prices!

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