20 Dec 5 ways not to get food sick in Oaxaca, Mexico
We love Mexican food … and we also love to stay healthy ?
So often we hear these stories how someone spent half of their vacations in bed after some street tacos ??
How to avoid getting sick and get the most of your stay in Mexico…
1. Wash your hands. At least before eating 🙂 That happens so very often: you get out of your hotel, pet a street dog, then open the taxi door to get in and out, handshake your new Mexican friend, pick up the change after buying water at the shop…etc etc etc. And then you go to a restaurant, have some delicious food…get sick and blame the owner and “terrible Mexican restaurants hygiene” in general.
More than half of these cases could have been avoided if the “victims” would just wash their hands before eating. No bathroom/sink? Get out of this place 🙂 Ok, if you still want to stay and have this taco, at least carry a small hand cleaning gel or babywipes with you and use it before taking food.
2. Beware of “dirty street food trucks”. Although a lot of Mexicans eat the street food, and we feel that temptation to feel “local”, be aware that it’s extremely hard to maintain perfect cleanliness at these places. We would recommend to only go to the tested & approved street places (ask us or your local friends).
3. Pay attention to details. Most of the local places have transparent kitchens (that’s also another detail to look for). Once you decide to stop at a certain place to eat, stop for a minute to watch how they make, serve and receive payments. Are they making your taco with the same hand they just used to receive payment from other client, without washing it? Do they use gloves? If yes, chances are there might be a bunch of germs on these hands = on your taco as well.
4. Crowd is good. Very often you see two similar restaurants side by side, and one is full of people, and another one almost empty. In most of the cases that has a reason, that has to do with food and service quality - we would recommend to go to the place with long lineups.
5. Ask a friend 🙂 Most of the locals know where the food is good, and can take you to their favorite spots. When we were creating Puerto Food Tours’ routes, most of them were picked based on the recommendations of our local Mexican friends and colleagues, as well as on the reviews of the tourists we’ve met over these years.
Bonus tip - Coke! We don’t know much about the scientific part of this tip, nor is it a paid promo, but it somehow seems to work. If you drink Coca Cola before having “risky” food, this risk to get food sick gets a lot lower. We aren’t big fans of soft drinks, but this tip has been checked by both locals and tourists, and does work