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Avoid Eating These 10 Foods During A Vacation

Vacation is a time to unwind, to celebrate and to try new places and new things. Don’t let the foodborne illness or tummy troubles affect you. When on vacation, eat healthy and safe food and avoid certain food which can make you sick.

Most of the people while out on vacation tend to eat food which is high in fat and calories. Also, the restaurants serves a large portion which they try and eat all.

Overeating can lead to gastrointestinal troubles such as indigestion, bloating, nausea and at times vomiting.

Avoid Eating These 10 Foods During A Vacation

Raw Shellfish

Seaside vacations are loved by many and are an invitation to eat raw seafood platter.

Avoid raw oysters and raw shellfish as they can make you sick and spoil the vacation. Undercooked shellfish such as clams and mussels can lead to the risk of vibriosis. Cooking shellfish properly destroys the germs which if uncooked can make you feel sick.

Tap Water

Tap water might contain microorganisms which could be foreign to the gastrointestinal tract. There are certain countries which have a higher risk of tap water being contaminated.(1)

It is, therefore, safe to stick to bottled water or filtered water. Also, make sure the water bottles are purchased from trusted vendors as some dishonest ones may sell tap water in the bottles sealed with gum.

Raw Fruits Or Vegetables

Unless the fruits and vegetables have a thick peel it is advisable to avoid eating them raw.

This means skip salads, uncooked tomatoes, onion, and peppers and instead opt for cooked vegetables.

While you would be blaming a hot dog or a burger for giving you an upset stomach, the lettuce or the tomato in it would be the main reason of the harm caused.

Unpasteurized Dairy

Buying unpasteurized dairy product from small local farmers would seem a great treat but should be avoided by those with a weakened immune system, a child or a pregnant female.

Unpasteurized cheese might be contaminated with microorganism such as Listeria monocytogenes. A pregnant female consuming such food especially in the third trimester can experience a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Listeriosis is a serious infection and responsible for 260 death in a year.(2)


It is better to consume drinks at room temperature in the countries with unsafe drinking water and avoid drinking frozen or blended beverages made with ice.

Research shows many people who develop traveler’s diarrhea contract it not from the local water but the ice present in their drinks. It affects 30-70 percent of travelers and can lead to diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.(3)

Fountain Drinks

If craving soda, go for those present in sealed cans or bottles.

As fountain drinks are created by combining flavored syrups and carbonated water which can be tap water, which is should be avoided in the countries with unsafe drinking water.

Same goes for the juice. Buy the ones which come in packed and sealed bottles.

Buffet Food

Buffet foods can be a reason of illness for those traveling, so it is better to skip it.

The dishes for the buffet spread are laid out for a long period of time at unsuitable temperatures. The food though is thoroughly cooked may be maintained at warm or room temperature and may become re-contaminated.

Any perishable item left at room temperature should be discarded.(4) The hot food should be kept at 140°F or higher and cold food at 40°F.


Sprouts are difficult to clean and can be an easy breeding ground for bacteria such as salmonella, which are easily grow in wet conditions. The sprouts can also harbor Listeria and E-Coli which can multiply significantly during the sprouting process.


Consuming raw animal products is a gamble in foreign countries. Avoid consuming uncooked meat, seafood, and poultry. If wanting to eat sushi wait until you get home or eat form a reputed restaurant.


Avoid cutting and keeping the melons while traveling as they can be exposed to E.Coli and at an appropriate temperature can allow the bacteria to grow to a level that can make you sick.

A study shows contaminated melons have caused cases of salmonella and norovirus.(6)

Be very cautious while traveling as you are out on a vacation to enjoy it not to bear the sickness.

Be safe, eat safe and have a healthy vacation.

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 18, 2023

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