Falling into habits from home while traveling abroad can put vacationers at risk for diseases and infections, warn West Virginia University Extension experts.

“Something as simple as a sip of tap water or a swim in an untreated pool can put you at risk for a stomach bug, or worse,” Litha Sivanandan, WVU Extension food safety specialist, said. “Education, prevention and preparation are the best ways to ensure a safe vacation.”

The WVU Extension Service website features information on eating, drinking, and medical considerations to limit your risk of illness when traveling abroad. Visit www.ext.wvu.edu, for more information on food safety while traveling.

Tips range from tap water safety to eating fresh fruits and vegetables when traveling. According to Sivanandan, the biggest mistake most travelers make is falling into habits from home instead of using caution.

“We take for granted that water from a faucet is safe to drink, but when you’re in unfamiliar territory that isn’t always the case,” she said. “A simple task like brushing your teeth can put you at risk for illness if the water is contaminated.”

For more information on WVU Extension food and health programs, visit www.ext.wvu.edu, or contact your local county office of the WVU Extension Service.



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CONTACT: Cassie Waugh
cassie.waugh@mail.wvu.edu; office: 304-293-8735; cell: 304-376-1829