and Indulging Do's and Don'ts
restaurant and household food disinfectant
to Oaxaca should not be afraid to drink water in restaurants,
avoid ice, or shun produce. In fact even street fare can be
enjoyed. This is not medical advice, but merely an opinion
designed to assist vacationers to the city. Do exercise caution
since Mexico is third world, where health and cleanliness
standards are often different than those in the west.
Here are 8 facts or rules that might make your
vacation a richer culinary experience than it would otherwise
be, although perhaps adding some paranoia:
1) Restaurants use bottled water whether serving it plain
or as a fruit juice mix, and in making ice cubes.
2) Restaurants disinfect produce using special disinfectant
or a bleach solution. Of course things do slip through the
cracks and staff can be sloppy...anywhere.
3) If tempted to eat on the street watch for the servers
cleanliness and food handling. If you see a 19 liter blue
plastic bottle alongside the eatery, its fairly safe
to assume bottled water is being used. But you wont
see disinfectant, so to play it safe have your quesadilla
without greens. With the popular corn on the cob or kernels
in a cup, if the water is boiling, youre probably safe
chew the kernels well, since they are not the easiest food
to digest even when our stomachs are not under stress from
unusually rich and spicy indulging. If you are in a marketplace
towards days end, tempted to have a meat plate, note
that the beef or pork has probably not been under refrigeration.
If its chicken, again remember the time of day, determine
if it will have to be reheated, and in any event watch to
ensure the poultry is well grilled. Does the sauce contain
peppers which have not been well cooked?
4) Rather than buy a cup of peeled mango or grapefruit, do
it yourself. You dont know if the vendors knife
has been cleaned with purified water, how long the fruit has
been exposed, or if the preparers hands have gone over
the peel and then onto the naked fruit. Why trust the preparation
methods? However if you control the cutting and peeling, hopefully
youll be vigilant and get the gist of this point. Buy
a knife and use it to peel fruit, even if you see a small
label noting American produce. Others have handled it before
5) Anything with a wrapper such as ice cream or candy, should
6) Urban locals are also vigilant, so if you see a number
of perhaps middle class or reasonably educated Oaxacans at
an eatery, its probably fine assuming it has a reputation
for safe fare. Many street-side haunts exist around the city
and popular market day restaurants.
7) At the first sign of stomach problems, dont wait
to see if they dissipate. Your vacation doesnt have
to be a wipe-out. Pharmacies have effective non-prescription
meds. Ask us for a recommendation for either our opinion as
to the medication of choice, or the name of a doctor accustomed
to treating such ailments
8) You can become ill dining at white linen restaurants too.
Theyre not immune to running afoul of rules of safe
Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast ( http://www.oaxacadream.com
Starkmans Casa Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast (
) combines the best of bed & breakfast Oaxaca (quaintness
and personal touch) with the comfort and service found in
the best downtown Oaxaca hotels. The Casa Machaya Oaxaca accommodations
have the added advantage of co-owner, Alvin, a Oaxaca destinations
expert for a major international travel website, who provides
Oaxaca tours to both house guests and those lodging elsewhere,
both in downtown Oaxaca and in the surburbs.
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