10 Foods You Should Avoid Overseas - Expatriate Healthcare

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10 Foods You Should Avoid Overseas

One of the most exciting things about travelling to a new country is the opportunity to try new foods. Venturing out to restaurants and sampling the local cuisine is all part of the fun, right?

Although these foodie adventures seem relatively innocent, they can soon turn adverse if you eat something dodgy. This isn’t to say you can’t enjoy yourself while away but it’s important to get the balance right between sampling local delicacies and treating your belly well. After all, no one wants to be stuck in the toilet for the whole trip.

In order to evade getting poorly when abroad you just need to use your common sense and keep in mind that there are a few foods, you should avoid.

Raw meat and seafood

It’s always advised that you stay clear of raw meat and seafood when abroad because uncooked and undercooked meat and seafood can pose serious health threats in both undeveloped and developed countries. Raw meat and seafood can carry many germs which can lead to foodborne illnesses.


It may be healthy but eating fresh produce such as berries and apples when abroad can also be a risk to your health. Fresh produce is often washed with tap water and local water in less-developed countries isn’t usually safe to drink. If you want to consume fruit while overseas make sure that you wash it yourself with safe drinking water before eating. Peeling apples before eating them can also reduce the risk of contagion.


The same rule applies to raw vegetables especially if you’re planning on travelling to a country that suffers from a lot of pollution. The lower to the ground the vegetables are the harder they are to keep clean and therefore they can often carry nasty things. If you’re desperate for some fresh vegetables while you’re away, choose items that are packaged because they are less likely to have been exposed to any water. Anything that could have been washed with the local water may be unsafe to consume.


The crustacean group can be a risky food to consume when on holiday especially if you’ve never eaten anything such as shrimps, lobster and crab before. If you want to truly enjoy your trip away, it may not be the best time to experience shellfish for the first time. Shellfish is known for carrying more bacteria than other seafood selections and therefore can be contaminated if they’re not washed and cooked thoroughly. Some people can also have severe allergies to shellfish and if you’ve never tried it before you probably don’t want to find this out whilst on holiday.

Ice cream

We know this will come as a shock and disappointment to many but for your own safety, this delight is better left untouched. Food that is frozen and then thawed can develop bacteria more quickly. If you’re craving a frozen sweet to cool yourself down, sorbet is recommended as it’s more acidic bacteria struggles to survive.

Street food

Street vendors are still very much a part of the culture in many countries however while the food may look delicious there are certain risks to eating street food.
If you’re desperate to try some of the raved about street food in Asia there are a few things you should look out for. Before diving in there are a few questions you should ask yourself. How clean is the stall? How many people are queuing at the stall? And is the food covered? This should help you to figure out whether it’s worth it.

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