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Food Poisoning And The Expat


John Mogusar

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Slightly hijacking the thread...

 

For those of you that have been in the Philippines for a number of years, does your body eventually adjust to lower sanitation standards? I wasn't sure how to ask the question, but I mean, for example, foods (particularly meats) that have been sitting out in the tropical heat unrefrigerated.

 

I was extremely careful at first about those types of foods, as well as eating at parties, etc. I started easing myself into eating more of that type of food, but got an amoeba infection shortly thereafter and went back to my stricter food intake.

 

This includes all market restaurants (excluding some soups, which are usually kept hot) and the street BBQ (which I really like but I'm afraid to eat it).

 

Perhaps I'm a bit over-paranoid and I really would like to be more able to eat that type of food.

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So glad someone has mentioned this,

On my last trip i got the runs, ok i was not poorly and i did feel great but just had a loose bottom,

My Ems laughs about it you will be fine dont worry but i am a man and its my body and i do worry,

I too try to be careful what i eat and drink and maybe i dont eat properly because i dont want the runs,

I am thinking this time it was the water or something i drank, but who knows,

It will be interesting to hear what others will say and if after months of living there there body clock does change

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Over the last 8 years or so I must have visited PI 40 or so times, always eat and drink outside.  All i do is make sure the bbq, restaurant, street vendor is popular and busy with others.  The way i see it is if busy with locals then must be ok.  So far so good and never a bad stomach as yet.........

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I keep imodium on hand, maybe my stomach is overly sensitive, because the runs are not uncommon.  I did get amoebic dysentery one time, needed to be rehydrated via IV, and a regimen of antibiotics to take care of it.  I should have known better because the imodium was not doing the trick for me.  I do eat the bbq skewers and they do not seem to bother me.

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I have had food poisoning at least 3 times in 8 years. One was bad shellfish, one was a buffet that the heat wasn't proper and the last one was from the crud on the top of the beer bottle. Other than that I eat food that is hot (temperature) and or spicy when I go out to eat. I rarely eat the street bbq sticks (I would rather cook them myself on the bbq). If I get something on the local market I try get it first thing in the morning and then get into the refrigerator. I try to buy all of my meats frozen.

 

The imodium sold here is about half the normal dose you would get in the US. So I always take 2 if I feel I need to use imodium. Also if it lasts longer than 24 hours I go see a physician. 

 

You may be able to fight the bacteria but the parasites I do not think we will ever be immune from. Another good thing to have on hand is tonic water. It will help with a bad stomach. The gas helps fight the bugs. 

 

I make sure that fresh veges and fruits are washed good before use (ecoli and pesticides comes to mind) and use bottled water for my ice making. I also hydrate daily to help flush my system, at least 2L of water and take Vit C daily.

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Short answer is yes.

 

Each time we visited and then right after we moved here for good. Got a case of Quezon's Revenge (taken from Mexico's Montezuma's revenge :mocking: ). Once over that, might get a small case of the runs every so often, doesn't last. Normal precaution's and you should be fine.

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My first year here, I was repeatably sick. Flu like symptoms, stomach problems, diarrhea, even spent most of one night in the hospital I was so weak. As I became exposed to more and more of the local germs, I think I finally got it under control.

I do not eat street food, unless I know the people making it and they take care with it. My wife has been here all her life and she is very picky about street food. It's just too dangerous, unless it's from someone you can trust.

I drink the purified water, (not really sure how pure it is), but we filter it again at home.

I've left a few restaurants while waiting for the food to be served. I have a terrible habit of looking around at their cleanliness I guess. But that's not just a Philippines thing, I've done the same in the US. I love to see people washing their hands.

As for local meat and fish, I have to trust the wife to know what's up, and of course we cook everything very very well done.

All that said, I've been here almost three years and I'm still alive. :)

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I have traveled a lot over the years and love to eat street food in every country  I go to.  I have never gotten sick until my last trip...and it was to the US!  I went and visited the family, back in the old country, and was sick almost the whole time.  That is the first time I ever had the runs for 3 weeks. 

 

But over here in the PI's I have gotten sick only one time, from a bad hotdog (street vendor).  But it was not very long lasting.  Hell, I even drink the 'ice water' they sell in plastic bags at the sari-sari stores. :tiphat:

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One of "My spy" (=A bunch of Filipino friends, who tell me about different parts of the Philippines) had got the tip of a friend, she can get cheaper meal if she go to market stall close before they close.  She will NEVER do that again...  :mocking: 

The same evening she got very ill, she even fainted  :(  and it took here almost a week before she was ok enough to manage to go to work.

 

When I see how they handle meat in the "wet market", I'm happy I'm vegetarian...   :lol:

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On one of my vacations before the move I had one case where the food at a bus stop cleaned me out about 12 hours later. I felt fine. No headache or stomach ache. Just needed to sit on the toilet a few times with the hershey squirts. I had a similar thing happen one day when we vacationed in Thailand. Not sure where I picked up the food bug there. On the drive back from visiting the Bridge over the river Kwai I had to ask the driver to find a CR ASAP.

 

I never buy meat from the wet market. I just don't trust it. Veggies and fruit, yes, but they get washed.

 

Only chronic health problem I had was with a cough. A visit to the doctor fixed that after he prescribed use of an inhaler daily.

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