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2024 update -Avoiding Food Poisoning in Vietnam

coconut juice Vietnam
Buying street food Vietnam

First of all you cant ever be 100% sure, even in Australia when eating out. But one things for sure - its alot better to be sick in your own home close to your own Dr than being in some foreign place confined to a hotel room. And those tropics bacteria- Nasty!

We were there for 10 years, and when I eventually got bad food poisoning after a few years, it was from a Pizza!, not street food.

Heres Some more suggestions when eating in Vietnam :

  • Firstly, Dont let fear of getting sick stop you from enjoying the amazing food. You can easily put a damper on your adventurous spirit by being overly cautious to the point of hardly trying anything. That would be a shame. Be careful, but otherwise keep your adventurous food spirit going. Its one of the highlights of being here.

  • Listen to your tour guide. They have experience on what places are clean and what dishes are safer for you. If you have a particularly sensitive stomach, tell them clearly that you can only eat very clean food.

  • City Seafood! I generally avoid most seafood in the city until I travel to a coastal area where its caught fresh daily. The travel and storage time always adds up to the bacteria count..

  • Buffets are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Particularly seafood, such as oysters and prawns that have been sitting around for a while should be avoided.

  • When Eating Pho, order the cooked meat instead of raw .This is called "Phở Chín" , pronounced similar to the chin on your face

  • The Fresh Spring rolls pre-made on the street should be avoided, not just the meat, but also the salad is likely unwashed.

  • Sugar Cane juice has been the cause of many bad tummies, because just peeling the sugar cane doesnt mean all the dirty water its grown in is removed.

  • Go Ahead and buy fresh produce at the markets and clean with salt water at home. Its fun to try and you can make sure what youre eating is hygienic.

  • If you do get an upset stomach, the usual food remedy (after youve stopped chucking up), is rice porridge "Cháo" , pronounced as its written. This is easy to obtain, and is boiled, so free from nasties.

  • Drink Hot Black Tea rather than Iced Coffee if youre not feeling too well.

  • If you need to purchase antibiotics for very bad stomach, you can get on the street without a prescription. Its called "Khang Sinh"

Buying food at markets Vietnam
Grandma selling her goods

Happy Travels!

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