Food and water safety tips

Food and water safety tips

If you are in a country with poor sanitation or just prefer to err on the side of caution, there are a number of other things you can do to reduce the risk of falling ill. NHS Choices suggests the following:


  • Don’t drink tap water or use it to brush your teeth unless it has been treated
  • Only use filtered, bottled, boiled or chemically treated water. Bottled drinks with an intact seal are usually safe, as are boiled water and hot drinks made with boiled water.
  • Avoid ice in drinks
  • The most reliable way to purify water is to boil it but if this isn’t possible use water purifying tables that you can buy from pharmacies or specialist travel shops.


Avoid the following:

  • Salads such as lettuce
  • Uncooked fruits and vegetables unless they’ve been washed in safe water or you personally have peeled them
  • Fresh or cooked food that’s been allowed to stand at room temperature in warm environments or exposed to flies, such as in an open buffet
  • Unpasteurised milk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products
  • Raw or uncooked shellfish or seafood
  • Food from street traders, unless it has been recently prepared and is served hot on clean crockery.

Food served in smart hotels or restaurants may not always be safe as it may have been contaminated during preparation.

Where possible choose places to eat that have a reputation for serving safe food and only eat freshly prepared food that is thoroughly cooked and served steaming hot.

Published on 08/09/17

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