While you might not be traveling for two weeks, Dr. Olds says pregnant women need to be especially careful because during pregnancy you’re body is already partially immuno-suppressed to accommodate your growing baby.
Be a Picky Eater
Germs that make you sick can come from a variety of sources, but certainly food is top on the list, especially in developing countries. When it comes to food choices, “think about how the food has been prepared,” says Dr. Olds. Baking, frying, or boiling the food kills most germs. Fresh foods, however, like salads, can be harder to clean. Dr. Olds gives the recent spinach scare—right here in the US—as an example of how difficult it is to get fresh vegetables and fruits clean.
That’s not to say you should avoid fresh fruits and veggies altogether. Opt for peelable fruits, like oranges or mangoes, says Dr. Olds, and avoid fruits with high water content like watermelon.
Tom Kime, chef and author of Street Foods: Exploring the World’s Most Authentic Tastes, has visited—and eaten—food in developing countries around the world. He says travelers often make mistakes about food choices because they go for something familiar instead of the local fare.
“You’re much more likely to get sick from the hotel’s all-day buffet, which has been sitting out in the air conditioning gathering bacteria, than the food on the street, which is cooked right in front of you,” offers Kime.