Make More Memories, Not Sick Stories
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy your quality time with family, gather with your friends, and traveling! But sometimes this season is also the right time for bacteria to breed and they could cause foodborne illness. When you’re traveling, foodborne illness is certainly not something you want in your agenda. How do we prevent it? And what is it exactly?
According to ScienceDaily, foodborne illness is usually caused by consuming food that is contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, toxins, viruses, prions or parasites. Such contamination usually arises from improper handling, preparation or storage of food. Foodborne illness can also be caused by adding pesticides or medicines to food, or by accidentally consuming naturally poisonous substances.
The pathogenic bacteria that cause foodborne diseases include Escherichia coli - which is usually found in dirty water, Salmonella - which is usually found in eggs, chicken, meat, raw milk, cheese, and contaminated vegetables and fruits, Norovirus - which is usually found in raw food, contaminated water, and contaminated shell, as well as Listeria - which is usually found in unpasteurized milk and cheese that is made from raw milk.
Although they sound scary, but there are ways to stop their spreading, especially during the summer holiday. We may not be able to control how the food or drink we consume are prepared or handled before they reach our table, but we can do our best to avoid catching the diseases.
Here are some tips from our Food & Beverage Manager about how to avoid foodborne diseases so you focus on making memories instead of sickness stories.
- Always clean your hands before you put it into your mouth
Yes, we know that it’s hard to remember to do so when you’re in the middle of the culinary galore in another city. But in the long run, it is much more beneficial for you to take that 10 seconds to clean your hands first. Ideally, wash it with soap and running water. But if water is inaccessible, you can use wet wipes or hand sanitizer. After that, eat away!
- Pay extra attention to the food & drinks hygiene
When visiting another city or another country, the different food & drinks are always very tempting to try – especially those in the traditional market. However, when you’re in holiday, try to avoid food & drinks with questionable hygiene. Look around the food stall: is the food & drink prepared cleanly and properly? Is the waste being put properly in the area? Is the area free from flies and/or other pest? If the answer is yes, then you can buy from the stall. If the answer is no, proceed with caution, and consider if the food and drink truly worth the risk of consuming unhygienic food and drink.
- Bring Norit / activated carbon
Should there be a stomach problem that you’re experiencing during your holiday, start your treatment with activated carbon/charcoal. In Indonesia, one of the most common brand is Norit or Diatabs – both are available freely at pharmacies or drugstores. Activated carbon help absorbs foreign and/or dangerous substances that causes diarrhea in your stomach, and helps excrete it out of your bodies.
- Buy bottled water
Unless you are traveling in a country with drinkable tap water, it is best to stick to bottled water. It may be more costly, but it is safer and a better choice during travel. Some people has “stronger” stomach compared to others, in that their stomach is less sensitive towards different food & drink. But some people has sensitive stomach, and so it is preferable to drink bottled water.
We do hope these tips can make your summertime holiday and travel more enjoyable, so you can focus on making memories, and not sick stories!
Thanks much, Mr. Agung, for your willingness to share these valuable tips for us!