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How can I avoid getting food poisoning while traveling?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
If you have any doubt about the food or water while traveling, take these precautions:
  • Do not consume ice while traveling. Freezing does not kill all infectious microbes.
  • Drink only bottled drinks -- such as soft drinks or bottled water -- that have secure caps. Be aware that some fruit juices contain impure local water.
  • Boil all tap water before drinking or drink only bottled water; use bottled or boiled water to brush your teeth.
  • Do not eat uncooked vegetables, including lettuce; do not eat fresh, uncooked fruit you have not peeled yourself.
  • Do not consume dairy products (milk may not be pasteurized).
  • No matter where you are, avoid drinking untreated water from lakes and streams, which can contain disease-causing organisms from human or animal waste. If you must drink the water, bring it to a rolling boil for one minute to reduce the chance of infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.