Avoiding Montezuma

Nothing puts a damper on getting that passport stamp like contracting illness overseas. Unfortunately, traveling abroad carries risks. Unregulated quality control standards on preparation and sanitation can make some foods or water unsafe to consume in certain countries.

So how can you avoid a case of gastrointestinal backlash and still enjoy the cuisine of a foreign land? The World Health Organization sums up its recommendations with 4 simple rules: “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.&lrdquo;

If you’re unsure of origin, boil the water first or disinfect it with chlorine or iodine. Also boil any unpasteurized milk before drinking.

Resist any raw foods purchased from street vendors, except fruits and veggies. The caveat: wash them thoroughly and peel before eating.

Choose meals that are still piping hot when served, and watch street vendors cook anything you plan to buy. If you didn’t see the preparation, pass it up.

Shun ice cream and other dairy products — which are commonly contaminated — and any items containing raw or undercooked eggs (such as hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, or mousse). Forget the ice cubes… unless you boiled the water before freezing it.

In addition, always scrub your hands before preparing and eating any food.

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