FS & RD Consulting
Food Safety And Research and Development Consulting




Food safety while on Vacation

Have you ever gone on vacation only to get a bout of the stomach flu or diarrhea while you are there? Have you ever wondered about how safe the food is that you eat while you are on vacation?

My boys on the beach!

My boys on the beach!

Last week I was on vacation in Mexico which was amazing! 4 Gingers and none of us ended up with a sunburn. A little red at times but nothing significant. While I was there I thought a lot about the food that we were eating and how safe it was.

Just think you spend 8 days including travel when you go away for one week's vacation. At three meals a day that is 24 meals that are being prepared for you by someone else. If you typically only have one or 2 meals per week out at a restaurant you've increased your odds significantly that something will not be prepared safely and you might get sick. Of course, that is to say that when you are at home you always apply your food safety knowledge at every meal and they are prepared with the utmost of safety in mind.

From the resort's perspective; they are preparing at least 3 meals per day for the hundreds of people that are staying at their resort. They have multiple restaurants and dining choices both with menu and with buffets for each of the meals. There is food available from 6 am until midnight. It is critical that all of the food handlers are well versed in food safety or the resort's name and credibility is on the line.

With the risk being significantly higher that at least one of these meals won't be prepared properly, and that it could make one of my boys (including my husband) sick I paid attention. Since most of the preparation and safety is done behind closed doors in their kitchens I watched what I could see.

They had a grill area for lunch where things were prepared in front of you and at every buffet meal there was at least two if not three areas where they prepared things in front of you. In each areas they maintained segregation of fish from other meat products. They cooked the meats fully, although I didn't see temperature being taken they were monitoring by the length of time they kept them on the grill. I saw the tables being sanitized down after every patron.

Let's just say I liked what I saw! Although you aren't always going to be privy to seeing their certifications etc. you should be able to have a comfort level based on what you see. So the next time you go on a trip, pay close attention to the areas that you are allowed to see and get a comfort level from that. Getting sick on your trip from a food safety illness is never a fun thing!

Melissa Stevenson