You’ve been planning your trip to India for months, and you have been so excited to try all those famous Indian dishes you’ve heard so many people talking about. But be careful, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) states that traveler’s diarrhea or food poisoning affects 30% to 70% of travelers who have ingested food or water that was contaminated.
By paying increased attention to the food and beverage that we choose, we can reduce the risk of acquiring foodborne illnesses. Let’s have a look at those foods that should be avoided so you can enjoy your trip to India to the fullest.
Cooked veggies are always a good idea
Ok, we know you’ve been trying for a long time to become vegetarian and believe us when we say that India is the best place to start. Most Indians are vegetarians, so it won’t be hard for you to find a multitude of delicious dishes that don’t contain meat. We would recommend you avoid meat especially when it comes to street food.
Eating meat can be very dangerous because it can be contaminated. It is almost impossible to know how long the meat has been sitting out before it was used to prepare the dish. Also, pay attention to the cleanliness of the place you’re buying the food from. If you think that they don’t meet the hygiene requirements, then don’t buy anything from that place.
You should also avoid eating fish because your immune system might not be able to handle very well an uncooked fish or one that has been staying in the heat for a long period of time. The same goes for eggs – if they are undercooked they can be very dangerous. And cheese, make sure it is cooked before you eat it! A sprinkle of Parmesan on your pasta might not be a very good idea while you are in India, so go for the paneer instead.
It’s not food but it is very closely related to it: tap water
When traveling in India you have to remember that tap water should always be avoided because it can be contaminated with Escherichia coli or E.coli. Even if locals drink it, for tourists it can be very dangerous leading to diarrhea or other harmful chemical contaminations.
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, especially in India where it’s mostly hot and dry with temperatures during the day ranging from 77F to 104F. So, make sure to remain healthy, and try to avoid tap water by keeping a bottle of mineral water handy all the time.
Also, we recommend washing your fruits and vegetables with bottled water, just to be on the safe side. Even in restaurants try to order mineral water instead of a regular one – better safe than sorry, right?
Maximum attention when opting for street food
In order to avoid “Delhi Belly” aka dysentery most people would advise you not to eat from vendors on the street, but there have been cases when tourists ate at some high-end restaurant and they got sick. So, you can never be sure, but to be on the safe side try at least to avoid those foods that are considered more “dangerous”.
During the hot tropical summers, you might think that golas – flavored ice candies basically – will help you cool you down. Make sure you use a bottle of mineral water instead because the water used to make ice golas can’t be trusted.
The same goes for the famous gol gappe, the small deep-fried crispy breads filled with stuffing and flavored water – we can’t be sure that the flavored water is not contaminated.