A Guide to Eating Safely in India
While we are prancing about, bathing in the beauty of India, there are always those little concerns on our mind. One of the most major concerns for foodies in India, is avoiding the Delhi Belly a.k.a food poisoning, vomiting and diarrhoea. To experience the most of India on your trip and to avoid catching the tummy bug, here are a few tips and advices:
– Do not drink the water from the taps
The water from the taps is not potable. Do not at any cost use the tap water to cook or drink as the water is not purified and often contains high amounts of mineral deposits (hard water).
Avoid ice in all drinks as the source of water is unknown.
Bottled drinking water is available for cheap in every shop for a minimum of ?10 (approx. = ¢10).
An alternative is purified water that is retrieved from RO (reverse osmosis water filter system) units in households and restaurants.
It is safe to gargle tap water, but it is safer to use drinking water for this purpose too.
– Wash your hands
Although this may seem very obvious, it is a task that travellers often fail to remember. As a tourist, we visit many places and touch many things that are not always clean. So it is important not to forget to sanitise one’s hands frequently.
With the planet suffering from a water shortage, it might be more advisable to use a sanitiser, rather than water all the time. Sanitisers are also available in every pharmacy in India.
– Be careful about Street food
The hygiene of food trucks in India cannot be guaranteed. Even the ingredients involved cannot be guaranteed.
Having been exposed to street food since a very young age, Indians have built their immunity system to withstand street food. So although a food truck may have several customers, that does not guarantee its safety.
As a tourist, street foods like samosas and jalebis, and other chaat items may seem very tempting, but it is not worth the risk. Such food can be found in better restaurants as well.
Packaged items that are available on the streets are often hygienically processed, such as chips, savoury snacks, and ice creams.
Moreover, it is very safe to drink piping hot and soothing chai and coffee from the roadside sellers who store freshly boiled milk in giant steel flasks or double-boilers.
– Choose a decent restaurant
It is best to choose a restaurant with English-speaking staff and clean tables.
For the safest and most scrumptious meals, there is no better option that 4 or 5-star hotels, or hotels in designated posh areas, such as Hauz Khas, Khan Market, and Shahpur Jat in Delhi.
At Nomaday Travel, you can also enjoy all kinds of unique cuisines from all over India that is as perfect as home-cooked food. What’s more, you can also try your hand at Indian food cooking classes!
– Eat ‘safe foods’
Although Indians love fried foods, avoid consuming food that contains too much oil, especially at night. It is advisable to use clean tissues to absorb the excess oil in some food items.
Also, avoid foods that contain too much water, such as Pani Puri (an Indian street snack).
The safest food items to have in India are Roti and Dhal (Indian bread accompanied by mildly spiced lentil stew), and Idly (steamed rice cakes).
– Fresh food safety
Most of the fruits, vegetables, meat and fish sold at markets are fresh. However, it is advisable to choose all the products personally, to ensure that you are not cheated by the vendor.
Usually, a lot of pesticides and wax is used on the outer coverings, so wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and even consider peeling them before consumption.
When buying fresh fruit juices, or coconut water, trust the juicer – they always know which fruits taste the best. Ice, which maybe added to the juice, may not have a trusted source, so you can ask the vendor for details if you would still like to use ice.
– Avoid the masala!
Instruct the waiter regarding the amount of spice to be added and ask for the basic ingredients, especially if there are certain specific food preferences involved. Dishes containing the following words are commonly quite spicy:
– Eating on the Train
Even Indians refrain from consuming meals offered in the trains or the stations. It is best to carry food from outside while traveling by train. Some railway companies, like Shatabdi, provide excellent, hygienically prepared food, but this may not always be the case. Traveling with a boutique tour organizer solves this problem by ensuring the availability of quality packed food in the best railway services offered, for your comfort.
– Curd, Yoghurt, Buttermilk, Lassi, Raita
In case of an emergency, curd is the best to cool the digestive system, after an Indian Meal. Have a cup of curd, Buttermilk, Lassi (sweet or spiced yoghurt-based drink), Raita (curd-based side dish that usually accompanies Indian rice and bread), or curd rice, to settle your rumbly intestines.
– Visit a Doctor
In case one is afflicted with a case of food poisoning, immediately visit a local doctor, rather than relying on European medicines or the advice of pharmacists. The best services are provided in big hospitals, such as Apollo or Fortis care.
Keep yourself safe and travel with a boutique tour organiser Nomaday travel
to prevent mishaps on your enjoyable vacation!