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In areas where chlorinated tap water is not available, or
where hygiene and sanitation are poor (most of Western Europe
is excluded from this category), travelers should be advised
that only the following may be safe to drink:
1) Beverages, such as tea and coffee, made with boiled water.
2) Canned or bottled carbonated beverages, including carbonated
bottled water and soft drinks.
3) Beer and wine: Where water may be contaminated, ice
(or containers for drinking) can also be considered contaminated,
and it is generally safer to drink directly from the can
or bottle of a beverage than from a questionable container.
Wet cans or bottles should be dried before being opened,
and surfaces that come into direct contact with the mouth
should first be wiped clean. If no source of safe drinking
water is available, e.g. verifiably safe bottled-water,
tap water that is uncomfortably hot to touch may be safe,
once it has cooled and put in a thoroughly cleaned container;
it can also be used for brushing teeth as well as for drinking.
1) Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: In areas of the world where
hygiene and sanitation are known to be poor, to avoid illness,
fresh food should always be selected with care. You should
avoid unpasteurized milk and milk products, such as cheese,
and eat only fruit that you have peeled yourself.Since the
sources of the organisms causing travelers' diarrhea are
usually contaminated food or water, precautionary measures
are particularly helpful in preventing most serious intestinal
infections. However, even when persons follow these general
guidelines for prevention, they may still develop diarrhea.
You may prepare your own fruit juice from fresh fruit. Iced
drinks and non- carbonated bottled fluids made from water
of uncertain quality should be avoided.
2) Street-food: Many developing (and developed) countries
offer an abundance of food sold from stands along the road.
It is advisable to avoid such food unless and until you
have ample evidence from reliable local sources that it
is safe for visitors to eat. Note: many locals may have
no trouble with such food or drink, but this is often because
they have developed over time bodily immunities against
its possible impurities, which is not the case for visitors.
You will be tempted, but be careful.
3) Restaurants: It is difficult to generalize about the
quality of restaurant food in the U.S., and even more so
to do this about all the varieties of restaurant food you
are likely to encounter overseas. General principles obviously
apply: establishments which cater to outsiders and/or are
in the expensive price ranges, are almost always going to
offer safe and nutritious food, while those at the other
end of the economic spectrum and serve locals may or may
not. Assuming that there are no such restaurants or you
are on a limited budget, and also that you would like to
sample local foods and eating styles, the best advice is
to seek sound advice from reputable travel guides or, even
better, from your program director or on-site hosts.