Tip for safe street food choices in Vietnam
Food security is one of the main concerns when travelers visit or move to a new country. To better understand the local culture, travelers often want to try new foods, but a little research on health standards in these countries can also help. Our food safety guide will keep you sick so you can eat like a local and enjoy traveling to the highest levels.
Is Street Food Safe or Not?
The answer is that it depends! Some street food vendors do not take the necessary hygiene precautions, while others do. Therefore, before choosing a place to eat, look at it first. The first thing to consider is to see if the position is occupied. This indicates that the position is safe, because a busy position means that many customers eat there. Not only that, the food is probably delicious. Avoid stalls that are not full, as this shows otherwise. Also avoid stalls where vendors use dirty oil for cooking. You can check this yourself. Identify the bottle that the seller uses to store the oil, and identify the oil in the frying pan that is used. If the color looks brown or black, avoid there.
Some food stalls are covered with glass on all three sides to protect food from harmful bacteria. If you are here for the first time, do not try the stalls with food left outside. Ingredients can easily rot. But the longer you stay, the better your stomach will adapt.
Also, in most cases the vendor may not be good, so look carefully at the ingredients in the stalls that offer very cheap food. Cheap ingredients often ban pesticides. When it comes to meat, rotten meat can be covered by cooking with chemicals. Note them!
A Small Tip
If you like eating food, such as phở, bún bò Huế(spicy beef noodles), or other dishes that combine vegetables, put the vegetables in hot water in case you’re worried about that hygiene. When eating phở, try ordering a well-done steak.
Do you think restaurant food is safer than street food? The answer is yes and no. Some restaurants use food which has been frozen for a long time so it is not healthy at all because of the preservatives inside allowing the food to be kept frozen. Frozen food has more fat than food kept in normal temperature as well. However, if you want to quickly adapt to food in Vietnam, eating at restaurants is a great start because the food is mostly safe.
Do you find restaurant food safer than street food? The answer is yes and no. Some restaurants use food that has been frozen for a long period of time, and because it contains preservatives, the food remains frozen and is not at all healthy. Frozen foods are higher in fat than foods stored at room temperature. However, if you want to quickly adapt to Vietnamese food, eating at a restaurant is a great start as the food is almost safe.
Water & Ice
Water is needed for everyone. In some countries, people can drink water directly from the tap. However, you should not do that in other countries. This includes Vietnam. Here you can drink already boiled water or buy bottled water at a convenience store.
The coming ice is also a big problem. Avoid using places that use block ice, as the water used for them is often unsanitary (you can often see the motorcycle provider that brings them). Do not drink if the ice in the glass appears to be broken into small pieces from a large chunk of ice. The only ice you should not have trouble with is one that looks like a small cube. They are made more carefully and are more expensive.
The worst thing about eating the wrong food is that you need to take your medicine as soon as possible. If you don’t think the disease is serious, you can go to a pharmacy and buy medicine. However, if the problem persists and you do not have mild stomach ache, it is strongly recommended that you go to a doctor or hospital.
In addition to the above, there are some additional food safety tips that will help you:
- Clean your hands with a hand sanitizer before eating food, especially snacks that use hands.
- Avoid large meals on the first try. If you adapt slowly and find that you can handle it, go to town!
- Bring your favorite medicines in case of upset stomach.
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