How To Eat Street Food Without Getting Sick

If you’re traveling, you'll likely want to know how to eat street food without getting sick. Street food often boasts many local and regional specialties, but sanitation is often an issue. Try out some of these tasty street food offerings by following these steps to stay healthy.

  1. Watch for crowds. Look for a stall or vendor with a large crowd. The locals know best when it comes to street food. Better yet, ask someone on the street what he would recommend.
  2. Make sure the area is clean. If you see garbage or sewage polluting the area, go somewhere else. Ideally, the street food stall you choose should have a supply of fresh water and the street food should be covered.
  3. Check out the food handler. If he has good hygiene, such as clean hands and clothing, along with covered hair, chances are the street food served there is clean, too.
  4. Always choose hot, cooked foods. Avoid eating raw street food whenever you can. Make sure the food is hot and fresh when you receive it. Don’t eat anything that’s been sitting out for a while.
  5. Don’t drink the water. This includes using ice in your drinks. Carry bottled beverages, and make your own ice from bottled water. Untreated water tends to harbor bacteria or parasites that could make you very ill and ruin your trip.

Remember, when traveling your immune system may not be used to the different bacteria you’ll encounter. Just because the locals drink the water doesn’t mean you should. Use bottled water to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth, and bring some over-the-counter stomach medication just in case.

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