Gastrointestinal Problems While Abroad? Food Poisoning is to Blame

For many, falling ill briefly is just an expected part of traveling abroad. These short bouts of gastrointestinal difficulties are often referred to as “Delhi belly” or “Montezuma’s revenge” and are frequently blamed on adverse reactions to new foods or water sources. This is not correct. According to Richard Conroy, a travel sickness researcher and food scientist from the United Kingdom, issues like diarrhea and vomiting while traveling are always caused by food poisoning. Harmful bacteria in food and water cause these issues just like it can cause them at home.

Food poisoning can have a lasting, harmful effect on a victim’s body. If you encounter this issue while traveling, do not downplay it. Take time to help yourself recover and if necessary, seek medical care.

Water Can Transport Pathogens that Cause Food Poisoning

Travelers are often warned to be wary of tap water in developing nations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American travelers should avoid drinking tap water and consuming products made with tap water, like fountain sodas. Instead, travelers are advised to consume bottled water and use it for tasks like brushing their teeth. When this is not an option, travelers are advised to boil tap water to kill any potential bacteria. Water can carry harmful pathogens like Hepatitis A and norovirus. It is important to remember that you consume water in more ways than just drinking it. Swallowing water while showering is another way for harmful bacteria to enter your body.

When traveling to developing nations, take precautions to reduce your chance of suffering from food poisoning. In addition to avoiding tap water, avoid unpasteurized milk and products made with raw milk. Do not eat raw or undercooked foods. Generally, beverages from sealed containers and alcoholic beverages are safe to consume, the latter because the alcohol level in most liquors is high enough to kill harmful bacteria. Avoid consuming bushmeat, the meat of local game, and dishes made with unwashed fruits or vegetables. In most cases, food and drinks served hot are safe to consume.

Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Symptoms of food poisoning often include:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Nausea;
  • Fatigue; and
  • Stomach cramps.

Different conditions have unique symptoms but generally, these symptoms point to food poisoning. Pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to food poisoning than those with healthy immune systems.

Work with an Experienced Rolling Meadows Food Poisoning Lawyer

Filing a food poisoning claim against a party located in another country can be difficult. If you have suffered from food poisoning while traveling abroad, an experienced food poisoning lawyer can help you determine the negligent party and discuss your options for seeking compensation for your damages with you. To learn more, contact our team of food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP to set up your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Himesh Kumar Behera)

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL
  • Lawyer.com