food and water precautions

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Travellers' diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and polio can all be caught from contaminated food or water.

Water in swimming pools, lakes, rivers and the sea can also transmit infection and so do not swallow water when bathing.

  • always wash your hands after going to the lavatory, before handling food and before eating
  • if there are any doubts about the water available for drinking, washing food or cleaning teeth, boil it, sterilise it with disinfectant tablets or use bottled water, preferably carbonated, in sealed containers
  • avoid ice unless you are sure it is made from safe water ice used to cool food as well as ice in drinks)
  • it is usually safe to drink hot tea or coffee, wine, beer, carbonated water and soft drinks and packaged or bottled fruit juices
  • eat freshly cooked food which is thoroughly cooked and still hot

Ref: Health Advice for Travellers, DoH, October 1996

Last reviewed 01/2018