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Eating and drinking in a third world country

Discussion in 'Travel' started by ewalk, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. ewalk

    ewalk Empty Pockets

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    So I will try to tie this to EDC so bear with me. I have experienced first hand travelers diarrhea. I was wondering how to prevent it. I know to not eat fruits and veggies that you do not peel. Also do not eat things that are cold(ie not heated/cooked). Also, do not use ice. So pretty much bottled water and hot foods. But what about glasses, showers, eating utensils and plates? how do you get around not eating off them? or do you just not worry about it? I am bringing Cipro and Imodium in case I do get sick though.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Peeling takes off most of the germs, but they can stick to the knife and are reintroduced to the fruit on the next cut. Fruits and vegetables should be washed with a produce wash. It is commonly available in many places - it comes in a little bottle that you dilute in water and soak the fruits and vegetables in. If this is not available, bleach water can be used. You are trying to kill bacteria, particularly encysted amoebas.

    If they are properly washed, it can still be safe.

    Put bleach in your rinse water and let the dishes rest in it for a while. If eating at a restaurant, they usually know what to do to keep their patrons from getting sick.

    Those will be good if you do get sick, but my doctor, a frequent traveler himself, recommended Pepto chewables - two tablets twice a day. They will keep your digestive system from overreacting to new bacteria and will ease the transition if you get any bad bacteria. They also have the added benefit of ensuring regularity... :-X
     
  3. ewalk

    ewalk Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for the reply. I think I will take your advice on the pepto. Yeah, I dont know about you, but sometime a "foreign" toilet stops things like a cork :p
     
  4. Tango 191

    Tango 191 Loaded Pockets

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    My advice, if you are able to and if money alots, and you don't mind crappy/decent food(depends who your talking too :)), Buy (what ever number) of MRE's (meals ready to eat) pack them in your Checked bag and eat thous while your there, you cant go wrong, and its soo simple to prep, and bottled water the entire time

    all the best,
    Tango 191
     
  5. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    That's what I was thinking too. Perhaps an extra bag filled with enough MREs for the trip. (Assuming it won't be a long trip.)

    Many MREs aren't too tasty. But compared to what's available in a 3rd World Nation, then it becomes a different story.
     
  6. Towanda

    Towanda Loaded Pockets

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    Don't drink your shower water. Use bottled water for toothbrushing, both for the brush and for rinsing. No salads! :)
     
  7. deathcaps

    deathcaps Loaded Pockets

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    Eating is one of the greatest joys of traveling, and travelers diarrhea definitely takes much of that joy away. If you stick to bottled drinks (check the seals when you buy from a store!) boiled water (tea, coffee, etc) and skip the ice, you should be fine. If you're going to be traveling for a long time (more than a month) buy a water filter from a camping goods store so you don't have to be constantly buying bottled water. Use filtered water for brushing your teeth, and don't open your mouth in the shower.

    One of the things I found with travelers diarrhea is that sometimes it's not bacteria that's making you sick, but your body getting used to new foods and spices... just take lots of Pepto and it should go away in a few days.

    I would advise against MREs.... food in third world countries is cheap and delicious if you're careful, so don't miss out on culinary delights!
     
  8. logpond

    logpond Loaded Pockets

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    when in doubt and it's available, go to an international fastfood resto...
     
  9. Avery

    Avery Empty Pockets

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    I would hate to travel if I was always worried about getting sick from eating something, some of best parts of traveling is experiencing the food.

    Get yourself some Acidophilus (pro biotic) and enjoy. When or if you feel the belly rumbles start taking the acidophilus and you will be fine. I ate everything that looked good to me (in Ecuador and all over the world) and even some stuff that didn't look so good. The only time I got diarrhea on my last trip South was when I drank some crushed sugar cain juice that I purchased from a street vendor. The worst experience I had was in Guatemala after I had 2 egg McMuffins at Mickie D's. I though I was going to die... and my wife said I smelled like I did.
     
  10. prdubi

    prdubi Empty Pockets

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    Lots of water and just stick to general products. My best advice is to eat at the hotels.....they wouldn't still be in business if the customers are dropping dead
     
  11. compy222

    compy222 Loaded Pockets

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    i'd carry some water purification tablets just to be sure. nice thing about travel to western europe is that life is pretty easy for americans.

    i loved being able to drink from some of the fountains in Rome. the water there is some of the best i've tasted.
     
  12. jzmtl

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

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    Regard glass/bowl etc., I know people who eat at small tavern that doens't look very clean and they would order a bottle of the strongest booze (over 50%), and rinse all the tableware with it before eating. Of course there are leftover that you can enjoy too.
     
  13. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Or he could just stay home...


    I agree!



    If you're going to use Acidophilus, don't wait until you have stomach upset. Start taking it now to prevent or buffer any reactions. Acidophilus is simply good bacteria of which most of us don't have enough - it's not going to hurt you. So why would you even allow yourself to go through the onset of symptoms?
     
  14. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    ew.

    also, go to big/popular local places- if they have a reputation for good food, the probably DON'T have a reputation for poor hygiene practices.
     
  15. freedoom

    freedoom Loaded Pockets

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    Probiotics work better if you start taking them beforehand and regularly. taking them after you start having symptoms isn't going to help much. they need time to properly build up in your system.
     
  16. Fusilier

    Fusilier Loaded Pockets

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    Beer is good, straight from the bottle or from the can. The water has to be boiled to make it.

    Pop (sorry, soda) from international brands (Coke, Pepsi, etc.) are also typically good. Local brands might not be as clean.

    I'm presuming these guidelines haven't changed since my Doctor gave them to me many years ago prior to a trip to Brazil.
     
  17. Mike V

    Mike V Loaded Pockets

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    I've found that when traveling if you wash your hands before eating you get sick a lot less.

    Very often in third world countries it's not convenient to wash your hands before eating i.e. street stalls etc.

    So if you carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser or anti-bacterial wipes it works well.
     
  18. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    Avoid seafood and shellfish harvested near shore. Third world countries usually don't have good wastewater treatment. Shellfish in general are suspect because they filter the water they live in and capture the bacteria. Shellfish that is not properly cooked - not heated enough to kill bacterial - are probably the leading cause of cholera, which is often fatal. Large outbreaks of cholera have been reported in Italy (Naples) as well as places in South America. As far as encysted protoza, chlorine does not kill all. For water use a steripen. UV radation does kill cryptosporium and guardia, which can be fatal to the old, young and those with immune difficiencies. These in particular are very painful to those it doesn't kill.
     
  19. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    just stay close to you Imodium, the diseases you can get from food are nothing compared to those you can get from a toilet.
    try eating and using the toilets in the most "respectful" places you can afford and find.
    remember that the best way to handle a crises is to avoid them.
    it's better to be a little hungry than to get sick.
     
  20. bowerc

    bowerc Loaded Pockets

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    this may be one of the outliers for what you want to know. i like to embrace what i can find in countries when i travel. i lived in the philippines for a couple years, and wasnt near enough to a major city to find what most westerners call "real food." water was the biggest issue, but bottled water was found in enough places, and coke was everywhere. eat drink and be merry. you're in another country. who else has your experiences? oh, and most pharmacies will have a worm pill available. it tastes like chocolate and windex, but it will solve diarrhea in one go