Food poisoning in Thailand

Every year, thousands of food poisoning cases are identified in Thailand. It mainly affects foreigners but not only. Moreover, in some cases, it can lead to death.

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is the illness resulting from eating food or drinking water containing poisonous substances including bacteria, viruses, pesticides or toxins. Symptoms generally begin within 2 to 6 hours and include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and weakness.

Which places are most likely to sell intoxicated food?

  1. The most popular ones in Thailand are street food areas. Why street food? Because there is usually a tremendous lack of hygiene whether it is about cooking or more even the fact that the dishes are not well washed.
  2. The other popular ones are cheap westerner-like restaurants. First there is still a lack of hygiene in those places but also, since it is food from another culture, the cook might cook it in an inappropriate way or a way foreigners’ organism is not used to.

What should I do if I have symptoms of food poisoning?

Here are some tips depending on your symptoms :

  1. If the symptoms are soft and bearable then just take some rest and get soft medicine.
  2. If you’re experiencing more serious symptoms such as vomiting or having a fever for over 2 or 3 days then you should see a doctor.
  3. If the symptoms are unbearable or worrying (vomiting blood, etc.) then you should go straight to the emergencies.

How can I prevent food poisoning?

There are some ways to prevent it but since most of the time it doesn’t directly depend of you, it is pretty hard to avoid.

  1. Have a good self-hygiene: wash your hands before eating.
  2. Drink a lot of water. It will help to fight the bacterias.
  3. Focus on restaurants that seem to have good hygiene standards.

To sum it up, food poisoning is something really common in Thailand but not something to neglect since it can turn really bad and lead to death in very few cases. Even if it is almost impossible to avoid, you should always limit the risks.


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