Avoiding food poisoning when on holiday

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Avoiding food poisoning when on holiday

No matter how much we love our holidays abroad, there is always an underlying concern about the ‘Brit abroad’ tummy that can occur when we’re in another country. Different ways of sterilising water, food preparation techniques and being out and about all day can all lead to an upset tummy which can put a dampener on your holiday.

But fear not, it doesn’t have to be that way and there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you and your family aren’t affected during your holiday in the sun. One of the great things to do is try and boost your immune system before you go away.

There are loads of ways you can do this including; getting good quality sleep in the lead up to the holiday, eating high protein and fibre meals and doing plenty of exercise to increase blood circulation and help bloating and gas. Having a probiotic drink once a day a couple of weeks before you’re due to go away can help line your stomach with good bacteria, making it less likely for your stomach to become irritated.

The age old holiday tip - don’t drink tap water, still applies. You should only drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks at all costs. The local water should be fine to brush your teeth, but if you want to be extra cautious, use bottled water for that too. Boiled water for tea and coffee is fine.

If you're by the sea and there are plenty of delicious seafood treats on offer, you'd be crazy to turn them down! Seafood comes with its risks in any country but eating fresh and thoroughly cooked food is key and you should always be wary of food that’s been left out. If you see flies around, definitely don’t touch! Salad can be a difficult food – you want to eat healthily but at the same time, you can’t guarantee how it has been prepared so it’s normally best to avoid it if you can.

If worst comes to worst and you do get food poisoning whilst you're away, don't worry - you'll be in good company – it's estimated around 1 in 4 are affected by it every year when travelling abroad. It goes without saying that you should always take out travel insurance and don’t forget your EHIC card if travelling in the EU, but keeping hydrated and drinking lots of water, keeping out of the sun for a day or so and staying well rested should help you feel better.

It's a good idea to take rehydration sachets with you when going away as they can help you get enough sodium back in your system quickly. Anti-diarrhoea tablets aren't recommended as it's better to get the bug out of your system as quickly as possible. If your systems persist, always seek medical advice.

Going away doesn't need to be a daunting experience - by following our advice, you'll be able to beat the bugs this summer and stay safe on your holiday!