What Not to Wear was so popular, I decided to report on what not to eat when traveling. Again, these decisions are region-specific but also share overarching advice. All things cooked well are your best bet, as no one wants food poisoning, especially when you are away from home. A trick of the trade is Thieves Oil, an essential oil used by theives during the Black Plague. Thieves would dap their bandanas with this oil to wrap around their faces. They entered homes of the ill, stole all of their things, yet remained healthy. The government gave them a plea bargain. If they would relinquish the recipe that was keeping them alive, they would go free, so they did. You can buy thieves oil now from Young Living on-line or through a local dealer. The recipe is a medley of herbs and 100% food safe. That means you can drink it. Add a drop to your bottled water before you drink or even to your dinner.
Avoid raw vegetables as they can hold pesticides, and the water used to clean vegetables can host bacteria. Cooked vegetables and fruits are fine. Fruits with tough skin, such as mangos and bananas, can be okay. I always wash them with purified water and never eat the skin of a fruit. Goat cheese and milk may not be pasteurized, and therefore, can be sites for bacteria, to which our U.S. digestive systems are not accustomed. Only eat meat cooked and preferably cooked well done. Purified water can be purchased at gas stations and roadside stands, but the purification standards are still not the same as in the U.S. More importantly, ice is from a tap, not purified, so go iceless. While at a resort in the Dominican Republic, my entire crew was bedridden. We traced it back to the ice.
Be aware that in the U.S., dairy products are pasteurized, while in many other countries they may be fresh from the local farm. Soft cheese and goat cheese are to be avoided if your immune system is compromised at all (pregnant women, elderly, ill). Also, some cultures eat raw meat (beef tar tar in France, carpaccio in Italy, Sashimi in Japan, etc.). Although you may have enjoyed Chee Kufte at home, I don’t think it’s worth the risk abroad because your system will not be accustomed to foreign bacteria or parasites, and you could spend your entire trip in the hospital.