Street foods have a special mention in the travel diaries to exotic locations. They represent the local food in a way that major restaurants fail to deliver. These are the real flavor of the neighborhood at a budget-friendly price. However, you may not have the same level of enthusiasm for street food because of health standards. People consider restaurants as a safe alternative and avoid street food during their visit to foreign lands. They miss not only some delicious treat but also an experience served on the platter. Here are some tips to keep yourself healthy while eating local street food with the minimal risk of getting sick.
1. Check the Customers
The longest line is not always the best sign of the right stall for you. Not every person has the same level of tolerance for food. Therefore, you need to pick your category before you select a stell based on its audience.
Avoid the stalls with street mean where only the local men are waiting for the order. Try to find the stall with some children and women on it. These are comparatively safe and easy on the stomach since they serve a variety of customers.
2. Use the Schools and Universities
Stalls near the local schools and universities have a huge customer base who lives on pocket money. They keep the price low to meet the budget of their customers. You can use them to eat within a limited budget and while chatting with the young population of the neighborhood.
These places are ideal for lunch and may not serve dinner. You will experience a fast, inexpensive, and delicious local meal on the bright afternoon of the weekdays.
3. Inspect the Food Preparation
Street foods provide transparency to their customers as the cooking takes place in the open. You can check whether the person is following safety standards or not. Do not compromise with the safety if anything looks unhealthy to you.
You will find the same person managing the cash and cooking food in the local market. Avoid them even if they use gloves since it is entirely unhygienic. Apply for very bad credit loans with no guarantor and no broker if you face a medical emergency while traveling abroad.
4. Use Translation Cards
Many people avoid street foods because of their inability to communicate the ingredients to avoid. Still, the restaurants often mess up the orders because of the pre-made sauces. The stalls are better at cooking food based on individual preferences.
You can use translation cards for the list of things to avoid as ingredients instead of hand gestures. These are well-researched cards created by experts for a precise condition or allergy. You will find them more useful as the locals will understand the situation and customization better.
5. Cutlery Hacks
There are times when the culprit is the cutlery used for eating, not the food. Some stalls keep them in an unhygienic environment while others might not clean it properly. Keep an eye on the cutlery before eating the food.
A baby wipe is a backpack essential for various purposes that include cleaning the cutlery. You should carry some chopsticks or disposable spoons in case the cutlery is beyond cleaning with a wipe.
6. Use the Local Timetable
Many people maintain their schedule during their travel and miss the freshly cooked local food. The hot food has the minimum possibility of bacteria forming on it. Therefore, it will be safe and healthy for everyone.
Therefore, try to avoid eating food that is waiting on the shelf for hours. You need to ask the local shops about the timings to get breakfast on time. Also, ask them where they are during the morning if lunch or dinner was amazing.
7. Stay Away from Shakes or Ice Cream If Water is Contaminated
You will find a contaminated supply of water in taps while visiting certain parts of the world. There is no safety assurance over the making of ice for the ice cream and fruit shakes. Avoid them from the stalls if you don’t want to risk your health.
You will find many cities where the government provides filtered water at a minimal price. A little research on the internet will give a clear picture of the water quality in an area. If the quality is below the safety standards, avoid anything that uses ice as an ingredient.
8. Avoid Meat and Non-Peelable Fruits
Even the most hardcore carnivores of the travelers avoid the meat at places where water is contaminated. You can still enjoy the vegetarian food that is often too delicious for its non-veg counterpart. However, there are times when the food is worth the risk.
For the fruits, eat something you can peel. These are comparatively safe than the ones with the skin to eat.
To sum up, street food is safe if you keep in mind healthy practices. They will introduce you to a new experience while maintaining the budget for the trip. However, keep in mind no tip can provide 100% safety from contaminated food.