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Is it safe to eat streetfood in Thailand or other countries?

Is it safe to eat streetfoods?

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It looks good, it smells good – and you’re hungry. Do you take a chance or wait it out . . .

Streetfood is a hot topic, and for good reason. It offers an excellent opportunity to be a local, if just for a moment. The colors, textures, and flavors of a community’s food is a key part of what makes it unique. Whether it taste good or bad, streetfood adds value to your wandering. Good streetfood makes a satisfied heart and good memories. But bad streetfood is equally adept at making a memory for you, but not one you’ll appreciate as the years go by. So when the question “is it safe to eat streetfoods” pops up, we follow 3 hardcore rules before making a “GO” decision.

Is streetfood inspected by the government?

Most national and local governments around the world do require inspections of streetfood vendors. But inspections may be few and far between. There are also “illegal” streetfood vendors, popping up in a different location every day and leaving any “issues” behind as they do. Or, when inspected and lacking the proper paperwork, failing the insepction, etc. they’ll just move elsewhere.

But the truth is, we love streetfood! And we consider it very safe to eat. The fact is, we’ve never got sick eating streetfoods. And we’ve enjoy it at every opportunity and at every destination. From Thailand and China, to Rome and Paris . . . and everywhere in between, we buy our ticket and take our chance. We’ve enjoyed it all.

Are we just lucky? Not at all. A key reason is we stick to 3 hardcore rules when eating streetfood. No matter how hungry we are, we put “common sense” first and look for the following.

Grilled pork "potstickers" streetfood cooked safely streetside in Bangkok.
Raw food should be safely prepped and stored, plus a safe distance from the grill.
Handmade to your specifications, streetfood dumplings in China.
Streetfood, if safely prepared, can give you a real taste of the local culture.
Streetfood hotpot noodles cooked fresh and sanitary in Bangkok, Thailand.
Clean ingredients, a clean hotpot, and clean hygeine make this vendor a “GO”.

3 rules for eating streetfood

Any streetfood vendor you eat from must follow all three of these rules. If they do, you can probably classify their menu as “safe to eat streetfoods”. If they don’t, you could be in for a rough night.

Streetfood is safe – if you use common sense

I know, these sound like common sense to most people. And they are. But it’s amazing how many “tourists” throw common sense out the window to win a chance at visiting a foreign hospital. This is a key difference between being a wanderer and a tourist. Wanderer’s consider common sense a basic tenent of life, not to be trifled with. It’s a guidepost from God that let’s us enjoy our life. Respect it. This may sound weird, I know. But common sense is an aspect of our existence on this Earth that is increasingly dismissed when it should be honored.

So, is it safe to eat streetfoods? Surprisingly yes it is safe to eat local streetfoods. Just use common sense and follow these 3 rules: Clean ingredients, clean cooking surfaces, and clean hands/hygeine. Doing so let’s you feel confident in sampling the wonderous variety of local foods you’ll find as you wander the streets and sois (alleys) that abound in our beautiful world.

Check out one of my original videos The Truth about Thai Markets from my old YouTube channel The Truth About Thailand, to get a closer look at Thai markets and streetfood . . .

3 responses to “Is it safe to eat streetfoods?”

  1. I’ve aren’t street food in China and Kenya. You’re spot on – take a close look at the food and how they handle it before you buy. I also stay away from street food vendor who doesn’t have a menu with prices. Even a piece of paper with it scribbled on it works. Shows they don’t intend to gouge you on price.

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