Two Rivers: Spring break travel guidelines

Spring Break (MGN)

Spring break is just around the corner, and for many people, that will mean travel to different parts of the country or even internationally. However, when on the road, it is important to take precautions with food and drink, especially when you are abroad. Food and water quality standards may be different, and could put you at risk for a variety of different food borne illness. We have a few simple tips for people to remember when they travel.

Food Safety

Always remember that heat kills germs that can cause travelers’ diarrhea, and that consuming thoroughly cooked foods is a best practice. This to avoid include:

• Food served at room temperature

• Food from street vendors

• Raw or soft-cooked eggs, meat, or fish

• Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits or vegetables

• Salads

• Flavored ice or popsicles

• Unpasteurized dairy products

• Bushmeat

Water Quality

When traveling abroad, water quality standards may be different. It is important to avoid tap water, which means you even need to brush your teeth with bottled water. Tap water can be disinfected by boiling, filtering, or chemically treating the water with chlorine.

If you are consuming soda from a fountain, the carbonated water is mixed with tap water – which still puts you at risk. Juice from a fountain presents the same risk. It is advisable to avoid fountain drinks abroad, and instead stick to bottled beverages.

In addition, ice is also made with tap water, and could also introduce different travelers’ bugs into your system. Another item to avoid is freshly squeezed juice, as the fruit may be washed in tap water.

By taking these precautions, you can have fun abroad and avoid risky food borne diseases, such as E. coli, salmonella, and giardia.

For more information call Two Rivers Public Health Department at (308) 995-4778 and visit our website for more information. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@trpublichealth).

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