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Queef_Sniffer

Street food, has it given you dysentery or worse?

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Hello again,

 

Just wondering if some of you could give me feedback on the safety in eating street food?  I have a somewhat sensitive to reg. stomach, but I'm afraid that if I eat any street food from carts or venders, I could fall victim to some type of food born illness.  Not exactly how I want to spend my few days in paradise.  

 

Anyone know if eating this type of food is safe, and what are your experiences?  Many thanks for your time!

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I have never been ill from street carts nor local Thai restaurants. I absolutely adore the fermented (left hanging, open air, two days before cooking) Isaan sausages and even those have failed to cause issue. The only time I got sick was when I ate in a commercial establishment at the mall. In fact both I and my Thai companion got the trots.

 

The only caveat is I have been eating true SE Asian food since I was quite young. I hope someone else can advise on the sensitive stomach issue as I am of no help with that.

 

The street carts and market vendors for the most part are self-employed. They have pride in what they produce and I imagine understand that if they sell bad food they risk losing business and more importantly face.

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I got sick eating something at a restaurant in MBK once.  And I was chatting with a guy that claimed it took him 3-4 trips to realize he was getting sick every time he stopped in to get a chef's salad at Gulliver's.  Never more than a mild rush to the toilet (kinda similar to what I get after yoghurt, berries and coffee for breakfast) from a food cart or Thai restaurant, but the food from the Japanese restaurant in MBK left me sitting on the toilet for an entire day.

 

The street carts selling Thai food is pretty traditional food that they've been making for generations without dying from it.

 

The western food they make, there's really no long standing tradition in Thailand as to how it should be prepared. And, I would assume much of the western food handling protocol isn't something the entire staff's been schooled in (i.e. not using the same knife or cutting board for chicken and lettuce). And, there's a lot of Western food we eat that relies on things been well cleaned (i.e. lettuce, of any "leafy green" vegetable whether used in a salad or a cheeseburger) and probably should be avoided unless you're willing to drink the water it was cleaned in straight outa the tap.

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If your stomach is super sensitive or you have digestive issues; practice preventive medicine.G o to your local health food store and get some supplements. 1. Travelers Probiotics http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/using-probiotics-for-healthy-traveling/

2. Get a Fiber Supplement and take daily

3. Consider adding Digestive Enzymes with meals, simple fix maybe try a chewable first.

4. Get a small bottle if Activated Charcoal. In the event of symptoms,at first chance take it. Activated Charcoal can work well if taken soon after first symptom.

If all else fails,go to one of the many convenient Thai Pharmacies and get a stronger remedy.

I also have a sensitive system and after 3 trips, not gotten sick.

Enjoy and Eat what you want when you want,you will be fine.

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I think a lot of people naturally get stomach sickness and traveler's diarrhea, then attribute it to street food. It's quite likely that you'll fall victim without touching it... Your immune system is weak from jet lag, sitting in planes (a breeding ground for bugs/viruses) and then you're just exposed to a lot of new pollutants and germs that are just floating in the area that locals are used to.

 

It's more likely that you'd get sick naturally or from ice... And that can happen at any restaurant here.

 

With that said, I only eat street food that is thoroughly cooked. Never gotten sick from it... But I did get sick my first couple visits without touching it!

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I have only stayed on Soi's 11 and 13 across 4 visits to BKK, so my response is based on the food available there.

On my first visit, at check-in, I was encouraged by the hotel staff to try the street food along Soi 11. They reassured me it was fine. So I went for it. And to date I have had no issues at all. 
I guess given the reliance on tourists in that particular area the food must be made to a certain standard to ensure no loss of revenue for the hoteliers as well as local businesses. 

As a result every chance I get I eat as the locals do. Watching a group of locals mass around a particular stall is a good sign. 

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I got sick a lot this trip not sure why ( multiple time over 6 month stay ) but never from street food. It was always from higher end restaurants, go figure that out. Also from the grocery store all around ekamai. But maybe it was the water from the condo. I've drank the water from the tap with no problem before so i don't really see that being the problem. Anyways i would not worry about street food in thailand. Street food in Cambodia yes. 

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if u do have a sensitive stomach ...avoid eating street food. Try eating in restaurants. I have friends who had the same problem as you. They just have to pay more to eat similar food.

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Ate a ton of street food with no problems wathsoever. I`d be more wary of eating from a hot dog stand in the west.

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Street food has never given me issues. Once from a high end seafood restaurant though....

 

Generally speaking look for busy street food stands. If they are turning over a lot of custom then the food isn't actually sitting out long. 

 

Most people just don't deal with a change of diet of any kind very well then attribute it to street food, i genuinely believe this to be nonsense. If you are going from burgers and chips to fish sauce and chilli your body will need to readjust, that's not the same as food poisoning. Persevere though and you will have access to some of the tastiest and cheapest food around. Frankly the food alone is enough to draw me to thailand.

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I always get the shits after eating with bargirls, but i do it anyway. the thing that always does it is somtam, i suspect it's from the old wooden bowls soaked in nam pla, fish sauce. Stick with fried food, soups and fresh fruits.  If you're only in BKK and Pattaya, there's lots of western food available. Food safety is pretty good in Thailand compared to most other asian countries. 

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