Vacations are a great way to get a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday routines. Fun in the sun can be great, especially for the photos you’ll get to share with your family and friends. But those happy times can quickly take a turn for the worse if you let foodborne illnesses or tummy troubles ruin your getaway. Try to avoid these 11 foods and drinks whenever possible while on vacation to stay on the safe side and enjoy your retreat.

11. Raw Fish

Raw Fish

Vacations near the sea might call for an invitation to taste a platter of raw seafood, but try to avoid it. “Avoid raw oysters and all other raw shellfish, which can make you really sick and ruin your vacation,” said Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, a registered dietitian in Boston. Raw and some undercooked shellfish, such as clams and mussels, can place you at risk of vibriosis, a serious infection that can result in death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Cooking shellfish properly destroys the germs that cause illness, so don’t avoid all seafood, just avoid the raw kind,” said Ward.

10. Tap Water

Tap Water

You might think that water is water everywhere, and therefore pay no attention to it; however, you might want to think again. Water can contain microorganisms that are foreign to your gastrointestinal tract, especially in developing countries around the world. For instance, in Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia, there’s a higher risk of water being contaminated with bacteria, fecal matter, and parasites. “When traveling to regions of the world that are new to your gut, it’s best to stick with bottled water and filtered water,” says Niket Sonpal, MD, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. You should also consider brushing your teeth with bottled water as well! Always check to make sure the bottles have not been re-used.


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