This summer, many of us will be jetting off to warmer climes to enjoy some rest and relaxation on our annual vacation. To fully enjoy any holiday, we need to be fit and healthy, ultimately avoiding any unwanted illness during the trip.

Hotels and restaurants in different countries may not follow the same strict hygiene and food safety standards as those in the UK. We therefore need to take extra precautions when travelling overseas and be aware of the risks of food poisoning. Here’s our advice on how to prevent ill health when travelling abroad:

  • Even before we reach our destination, we will be exposed to thousands of bacteria on the journey by air, land or sea. The key is to wash hands regularly and use anti-bacterial wipes as much as possible, particularly before and after eating food.
  • In many countries around the world, the leading source of food poisoning is linked to tap water, which can carry bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, causing stomach upsets and more serious gastrointestinal infections. It is therefore advisable to always drink bottled water and avoid ice-cubes in drinks. Be aware that salads may have possibly been washed in tap water so can also harbour bacteria!
  • Try to choose fruit and vegetables which you can peel, such as bananas and citrus fruits. Also, in many countries, not all dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are pasteurised and it is best to avoid unpasteurised items.
  • Many all-inclusive hotels offer buffet-style dining, but it is important that food is maintained at the correct temperature. Consider how long the food has been left out and if it has been chilled properly. Are cooked items kept hot enough? Bacteria levels increase if food is not stored and displayed correctly!
  • Although seafood is delicious, it must be eaten fresh otherwise it can cause illness. Oysters, for example, are eaten raw and need to be supremely fresh. If the shells are damaged or closed, they are best avoided.
  • It can be risky to purchase food from street vendors. This food may have been prepared several hours previously and been exposed to varying temperatures throughout the day.

Consuming contaminated food or water can lead to sickness, diarrhoea, salmonella poisoning, typhoid fever or even cholera. Food safety and hygiene must therefore be carefully considered so that you can enjoy the local cuisine without the risk of falling ill during your travels.

The information contained in this article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official food safety, health & safety nor fire safety advice.

Food Alert take no responsibility if the information in the article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Food Alert services please do call our team on 020 7244 1900 or email




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