6. Buffet Food
Buffets offer a great variety of food, but they are also a red flag for illness. Add this one to the list of things to avoid as well. “You should definitely be wary of dishes that are part of a buffet spread that has been sitting out for a questionable length of time at unsuitable temperatures,” said Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, MD, MS, an internal medicine physician in New York City. Although high heat can kill germs that cause travelers’ diarrhea, food that is cooked thoroughly yet left at warm or room temperatures may become re-contaminated. Hot foods should always be kept at an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Cold foods should be kept at an internal temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, and any perishable food items left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
5. Fountain Drinks
Feel like drinking a soda? Try drinking one where the bottle or can is completely sealed, since some fountain drinks are typically created by mixing flavored syrup and carbonated water. The water is likely coming straight from the tap and should always be avoided in foreign countries. The same should be applied to fountain juices that are also created by combining juice concentrate with tap water. When drinking from a can, use a straw to avoid direct contact with the surface.
4. MelonRelated: 15 Clean Foods You Don’t Need To Buy Organic
“I try to avoid cut melon while traveling,” said Heather Steele, RD, a registered dietitian in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “The rind of melons can occasionally be exposed to E. coli, and given enough time at the right temperature, that can allow the bacteria to grow to a level that makes us sick.” Per a study in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, contaminated melons have been known to cause salmonella and norovirus.