Fried tuna eyeballs? Roasted rodents? Jellied moose nose? Yeah, good luck finding that fare stateside. Well, as it turns out, that may be for the best; as those are considered unsafe foods that you should definitely avoid while traveling.
Raw meat and seafood
It should come as no surprise that consuming raw meat and seafood can pose a danger to your gut and overall health while traveling abroad. Uncooked and undercooked meat and seafood can cause health scares even in developed countries like the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, any raw cut of meat or seafood, even if it has been “cooked” with citrus juice or vinegar, is always to be avoided on your travels. It’s likely swimming with germs that can pose serious problems to your health—and, worst of all, may delay your travels.
Bushmeat—local game like bats, monkeys, or rodents—is another no-go. According to the CDC, these animals often contain diseases like Ebola or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which, at their worst, can be life-threatening. If you’re browsing through the meat selection offered by the local street vendors, it’s always a good idea to ask what it is that you’re eating first.
As a rule of thumb, any fresh produce without a protective skin that you first must peel off before consuming is not a good idea. Since local water in less-developed countries is often not safe to drink, consuming food that has been washed in this water is also unsafe.
Apples are another example of fresh produce that should be avoided at all costs. The only time that you should ever consider eating an apple is when you can wash it yourself with safe drinking water. And to minimize your risk of contagion, be sure to peel it, too.
Unpasteurized dairy products
Since food regulations vary from country to country (and many are not as strict as our own), it’s safest to simply steer clear of unpasteurized dairy products; they, according to the Food and Drug Administration, may contain diseases like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, all of which can be life-threatening.