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street food worth the risk?

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1. Posted by jennygro (Full Member, 119 posts) 13 Dec '06 09:53

how do you feel about eating street vendor bought food in south east asia? do you think its so cheap and delicious its worth the risk? and also there are plenty of restaurant kitchens that are filthy too! what do you think?

2. Posted by Oakey (Budding Member, 64 posts) 13 Dec '06 10:32

I'm thinking about this also, ive heard standards of hygiene arent that high and have been warned to steer clear, but I also want to sample the local food....

3. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru, 3377 posts) 13 Dec '06 10:32

Personally I would never do it (again). I need to say that I have kind of a weak stomach. I got really sick after having some streetfood in India. I had to stay a few days in hospital because I caught high fever and all that comes with that. When I decided to go to the hospital I was all dryed out because three days of serious diarrhoea. If you do eat meat on the streets just check if it is not red from the inside to lower the risk of getting ill. Eating in restaurants never made me serious ill (maybe some light diarrhoea).

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 13, 2006, at 10:35 AM by wouterrr ]

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3533 posts) 13 Dec '06 10:44

I ate from street sellers all over South East Asia for 3 months and I was fine. On the whole its cheap and delicious; as the previous post says, make sure it's piping hot but on the whole you're better with street food that's cooked fresh in front of you than buffet food in a posh hotel that's been standing around all day. as you say, there are plenty of restuarant kitchens that are filthy which you wouldn't see, and you can see how clean/dirty a street seller's cooking facilities are.
I'd say go for it - you can't beat pad thai on the streets of bangkok for 25 baht!

5. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru, 3535 posts) 13 Dec '06 11:05

I ate some bbq corn on the cob in Beijing off the street markets and l was fine! Gave the deep fried bugs a miss though - even though some kids tried to convince me they tasted like chicken!

6. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru, 2026 posts) 13 Dec '06 11:26

I think street food can sometimes be a better bet than restaurant food - restaurant food is more likely to have been prepped and sitting around somewhere out of sight where the cooks don't have to worry about the punters seeing the general hygiene of the place.

I ate loads of street food in asia and it never made me ill.

7. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 806 posts) 13 Dec '06 11:47

You could eat on the street a hundred times and not get sick and think that its perfectly fine, or you could eat it once and get really sick. And you can get just as sick eating at restarants. Its all luck of the draw an for me it not worth worrying about. If the food stall looks clean, and it doesn't look like the foods been sitting there all day then take a chance. The best bet is if you can see the food being cooked in front of you so you know its fresh.

8. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru, 3377 posts) 13 Dec '06 12:17

Quoting Degolasse

The best bet is if you can see the food being cooked in front of you so you know its fresh.

Yes exactly, that's the most important!

9. Posted by jennygro (Full Member, 119 posts) 13 Dec '06 13:42

degolasse that sounds like very sensible advice, im going to take it. i mean i dont want to miss out on the delicious cheap food!
thanks a lot,
jenn

10. Posted by allthai (Full Member, 85 posts) 13 Dec '06 16:29

Living in Thailand and traveling around Asia I learned a few things about eating from vendors, food stalls and restaurants. Is here a Blog I wrote here at TP about this subject. Although it is about eating in Thailand it also applies to much of Asia.

Enjoy,
Randy and Ning