Eating raw animal products can often be a gamble, especially when consumed in foreign countries. “While the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, traveling outside of the country for vacation can land you in a country that isn’t so diligent about food safety,” said Joan Salge Blake, EdD, EDN, a clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University. “Avoid consuming uncooked meat, seafood, and poultry, all of which are grounds for foodborne pathogens that can send you to the local ER and ruin your vacation in one bite. Wait until you get home to eat the sushi, unless you are eating from a reputable restaurant that you’re confident is preparing the food safely.” When dealing with raw fish, research in the Journal of Travel Medicine revealed that eating it is particularly risky in southeast Asia, because it may cause infection via bacteria or parasites.
2. Alfalfa Sprouts
If you find alfalfa sprouts are listed on the menu as part of the dish you are going to eat, ask your waiter to leave them out, according to Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, a nutritionist in Osage City, Kansas. “Sprouts are difficult to clean thoroughly and are a perfect breeding ground for microbes such as salmonella, since they grow in warm, wet conditions.” Alfalfa sprouts can also harbor listeria and E. coli, which can multiply significantly during the vegetable’s sprouting process.
1. BushmeatRelated: 6 Household Items That Are Making You Sick
Bushmeat might be tempting to try when vacationing in other countries, but remember that these bushmeats often include bats, monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, crocodiles, elephants, and even rodents from the forests and savannas of African countries. “These may seem exotic to try in other countries, but they can be a source of diseases such as Ebola and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome,” says Amidor. Not to mention that bushmeat also directly contributes to the decline of endangered animal species in those regions, so it’s better off avoided.