Safe eating?

Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 06:13 PM
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Safe eating?

Is is safe to eat food and drinks from street vendors in BKK?

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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 06:34 PM
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Depends on the street vendor and your sensitivities.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 07:07 PM
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Do know what food and water precautions are so you can make a conscious choice when to violate tham and when not to.

And Michael is quite right, whether something will make you ill depends on you as well as on the vendor and what the vendor is selling.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:06 PM
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We've done a lot of talk on this subject. Do a search and you can get all of the debates over it. Personally,a big concern of mine would be dirty silverware. It's a good idea to travel with your own plastic silverware and use it. And I would never drink out of a glass....like at internet cafes etc... when they sell drinks there. Year after year, I have seen some REALLY downright unsanitary washing habits. Happy Travels!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:18 PM
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Some people have a lot of resistance to food borne pathogens and rarely get sick! (http://www.foodsafety.gov/~dms/fsefborn.html)

Other travelers get sick just looking at stuff on a vendors cart. I am very careful of what I eat off the street. Think about it, there is no running water for proper cleaning of stuff or even washing hands after using the toilet!

Many of the things you see on the street you can get in an "in-store" restaurant, like what you find in Tops or Foodland. Food courts also have some of the same items but with running water for keeping hands clean. Food courts are cheap too! You find food courts in many malls, it is where the employees often eat.

One thing I like off the street is hot noodle soup. I figure it is so hot that a lot of "bad bugs" won't be present. I carry my own utensils out when I plan on having some soup. Some vendors have wrapped disposable forks and spoons. I like the hot boiled pork with rice and vegetables, they will put it in a take-away plastic bag for you if you want. The pork makes good sandwiches with bread or rolls that you pick up at a supermarket bakery.

I don't eat any of the mystery meat that is found on the grill all day long, laying out in the dust with fly poop and without refrigeration!

Bottled water in supermarkets and Seven Eleven stores is okay and not too expensive. I rarely use the water that you find in some hotel rooms, in pitchers on the bureau, I never believe that the maid doesn't just use tap water. I do use the water to make hot coffee though, hey boiling it makes it okay - right? Bottle water provided by hotels will be okay if the seal is intact.

Have a good trip.




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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:41 PM
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I heard if you stick an steripen in the soup off the street vendors cart it makes it all better,lol
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 10:30 PM
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Hi

I did eat from street vendors on my last trip to Bangkok and I didn't have any problems with that (even if I was a bit sceptical when I got a metal mug with crushed ice and water in it at one place). But maybe it was pure luck for me. But it is important to try some of the local food as it is a part of the culture.

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 09:03 AM
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My opinion- its not worth the risk of ruining your vacation. Yes some people on this forum have eaten from street vendors and they were fine- so the question becomes... do you feel lucky?
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 09:50 AM
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There are many opinions on this issue. Some eat everything, some nothing. We have eaten noodles, pastries and orange juice and steer clear of the meat. I do note that I cannot remember anyone posting on this forum that they ate street food and had an adverse reaction. Just do what feels comfortable to you.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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I just got back from my Phuket, Bangkok, Siem Reap trip and have to say that I tried any food imaginable, whether from on-street vendors or in small eateries, frequented by locals, and I did not have any issues with food/drink having influences on my stomach. Mind you, I have an incredibly sensitive stomach normally and get an upset one easily, but not while i was on vacation, and I am still fine. Thais don't drink tap water really either. Same with ice cubes. They are known as hygienic ice cubes (has a hole in the middle of the cube). I pretty much did not eat at any regular restaurants that are frequented by tourists/westerners. I had made it a point, that during my trip I would eat where, what and how locals eat. I think this allowed me to indulge into some pretty "almost freaky" foods. I put together a journal of my trip for all 3 locations. Feel free to check it out on my page: http://boswild29.hi5.com
I also posted 800+ pics of Thailand and Cambodia and 9 Travel diary/journal entries (rather lenghty updates).
As a side note, until this trip I thought I was a very finicky eater, but after eating any food imaginable in SE Asia, I am no longer
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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wheres the op??
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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op?
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 03:51 PM
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annergizer.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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Fell ill?

Just kidding.

Personally, I have no problem consuming food from street vendors in Thailand.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 09:15 PM
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Thanks all.

Just to finish this link....returned from Thailand this past Sunday. Although all street food looked exotic, fish and chicken sitting out all day,in the heat, and among the car fumes, was not appealing. We stuck to fried bananas. Some day, someone should do just a food vendor street tour. I would sign up in a heartbeat to taste some of the stuff they had and know what it was before tasting it

We had a great time in BKK, but I was glad to leave to go to the North and then the South of Thailand where life, and food, were tamer and cleaner.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:40 AM
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There have been posts to online street food tours of Bangkok - self guided - as well as posts about guides (such as Tong) who are renowned for their knowledge of street food.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:51 AM
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I tend to avoid street food but I am overly cautious. I have had it when an experienced guide takes me someplace and assures me it's safe -- so far I've never gotten sick and I've been going to thailand since 1985.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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Actually, the NY TIMES just ran an article on the hygenic, delicious aspects of BKK street food & someone posted the link here a few weeks ago, which is how I know about.

I would never eat it, but then again, I'm allergic to chili peppers, sesame oil/seeds & just looking at spicy or greasy food gives me the runs! ;-)

We don't eat salads while on foreign vacations. I also don't believe that UV light kills all bacteria. In French Polynesia, I broke my 'no salad' rule to eat poisson cru & 2 weeks into the trip I became very ill w/ sweats, chills, diarrhea & stomach cramps so bad I thought the Alien was going to crawl out... it's possible it was the shower water that got into my mouth. He got a milder case a few days later & was more open-minded about food, so IMO it was the shower water (which was brakish & not UV-ed).

It was so bad I went on Bactrim-DS for a week & the runs lasted for at least 3 days... as soon as it hit I went on a clear liquid fast... which will force a virus out, but not a bacteria.

In Fiji, we stayed at an eco resort w/ UV tap water, I drank bottled, my husband drank the UV water, he got the runs... a few days later.

Different strokes...
A late, renown photographer friend's rule was: don't eat anything that is cool enough for a fly to land on it. ;-)

He also did the cognac cure (a shot before each meal) & never got the touristas. Other people take Pepto-Bismol a few times a day. The pills are not as effective as the liquid... which is too heavy to travel with.
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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 07:52 AM
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I read the NY TImes article on food in BKK and brought it with me, all the way from NJ to the travel agency across the street from our hotel in Banglampoo. LOL - NO ONE knew where the restaurants that were mentioned were! Not the hotel,not the travel agency. They said "that way, down an alley" . So much for the NY TIMES!
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Old Feb 1st, 2008, 08:22 AM
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anne, you may have read posts on the quest for Chote Chitr. A couple years ago, we walked from Wat Sakat, the closest wat, and it took us an hour and the help of many Thais. Since then several Fodorites have made the trek, and there have been several sets of walking directions posted. I wouldn't expect anyone at the hotel or travel agency to know where these tiny places are. Half the adventure is finding them!


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