How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Medical issues, doctors, dentists, opticians and hospitals in Hua Hin and Thailand.
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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by Dannie Boy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:54 am

As normal, an authoritative post by J.J.B to explain and counteract many of the misnomers being posters by people who are “best guessing” as to the cause and source of their food poisoning.

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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by Big Boy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:19 am

Whilst I appreciate the signs of food poisoning can take quite some time to show, there are some reactions to various foods that have similar after effects, but come on very quickly. I have a problem with many foods, and will check the ingredients before sitting down. One of them is coconut. I will always ask, especially with curry if there is any trace of coconut used in the dish. Back in the days of barrys' curry nights, you should be able to find record of me quizzing him about the ingredients on this forum - his curries were fine BTW, and if any dish did have coconut, he would let me know :D.

I can sit down, and fully enjoy food containing coconut, but I will have my head down the toilet within 60 minutes, and it will continue for at least 24 hours. If you tell people what happened, they will automatically assume food poisoning, but it is definitely not. It is my body unable to tolerate certain foods.

Unfortunately, in Thailand, a sale is a sale (especially in low season), and regardless of what effect the meal will have on the customer, they will say what you want to hear. Fortunately, I can usually detect the presence of coconut before it passes my lips, and not eat it. Unfortunately, on some occasions, the coconut is undetectable due to other spices overpowering the coconut.

I even have to take care at places where they do fruit smoothies. If the drink before had coconut in it and they use the same utensils, it's likely to affect me, and people wrongly assume it's food poisoning.
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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by HHTel » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:19 am

You're correct, BB. Doesn't sound like food poisoning. Sounds more like an allergy or intolerance to coconut. Both are mutually exclusive and can produce similar symptoms. An allergy is more serious. e.g. nuts.

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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by Big Boy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:32 am

My point is, everybody says it couldn't have been this restaurant or that because food poisoning doesn't come on that quickly. The symptoms are similar, and people automatically think you have food poisoning.

As an example, maybe there's something in burgers that some people are intolerant to. If you get ill soon after eating one, maybe you need to check what you've eaten (perish the thought of what you might find out :laugh: ), rather than assume it had gone off.
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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by Pleng » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:52 pm

uncle tom wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:39 pm
While some people might blame the wrong culprit from time to time, I'd wager that most of the time people identify the correct source.
I'd wager that they don't. It is extremely difficult to prosecute an establishment for negligence causing to food poisoning precisely because it's so difficult to prove where the issue occurred. But yea... if experts in the field find it so difficult to pinpoint then average Joe Tourist is bound to know exactly what caused it.

I'd also, while we're here, love to hear some elaboration on this wonderfully constructed point:
Thais achieve food hygiene their own way, and it doesn't fit well with western cooking requirements.
Please... provide a brief explanation on the way Thais achieve food hygiene, and how it relates to the international kitchens, machinery and preparation standards that apply in the average McBurgerDonalds.
HuaHin61 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:04 pm
I almost expected your answer, but I am sure that the cause was the McD food,
because during holiday (in tropical aereas) i eat only twice a day, breakfast and diner,
and the breakfast i got every day in the same restaurant / same hotel,
so the problem only could be caused by the food in the evening.
I thought you only had the one McDonalds? Now you've had it every evening?
Also, why could the breakfast not have been the cause, just because you ate there every day? What is it about eating in a place regularly makes it less likely that on one of those occasions they inadvertently prepared your breakfast poorly, or used an ingredient that was perhaps past its best? There is absolutely no logic behind your argument. In fact, statistically it's the most likely place you picked up the issue from.
caller wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:44 pm
When you consider the vast number of burgers McD or BK must sell in Hua Hin alone, it's amazing to think that a few visitors knocking back bellyful's of alcohol, dodgy ice, full brekkies, snacks et al, can all authoritatively state it was the burger that did it!
joelle wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:51 am
what a lot of people don't truly know is the harmful effects of the Sun and a lot of times put their illness down to food poisoning, many don't bother to protect themselves, to wear a hat, they also ride scooters half naked and so on
sometimes it only takes a few minutes and bam sun stroke, happen to me occasionally when I could not be bothered to put a hat on and standing in the sun looking at this or that for a short time or can happen riding a scooter with a helmet on but the back of the neck unprotected
you don't have to lay on the beach to get a sunstroke !
all the same symptoms nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea etc.., fortunately it does not happen every time, but when it does mostly it is not food poisoning
Both very good comments. I find it very irritating when I do contract a stomach bug that the first thing I'm asked by anybody it comes up with in conversation is "what did you eat"; as if that's the only possible cause of getting ill in this manner.

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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by PeteC » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:09 pm

You would be amazed at the amount of times the wife and I have sat around and tried to pinpoint the source of a food problem that manifested itself within a past 24 hour period, but not immediately after eating. You can go through whatever process of elimination you like but it's near impossible to come up with a conclusion you can be 100% sure of.

The only time you can feel confident about a conclusion is if the problem strikes almost as you walk out of a restaurant, vomiting and running for a toilet. That unfortunately happened to my little daughter a few years back immediately after a sushi lunch in Bangkok. The wife ate some pieces off the same plate and she was fine. It only takes a tidbit of something to do it. The poor little girl was in the hospital for 24 hours on an antibiotic IV drip. Thai public health interviewed the wife at the hospital so perhaps there was some kind of follow up, or perhaps not. Pete :cheers:
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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by Pleng » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:18 pm

PeteC wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:09 pm
The only time you can feel confident about a conclusion is if the problem strikes almost as you walk out of a restaurant, vomiting and running for a toilet.
Even then you can't be sure. Unless there was an allergic reaction, or the food was absolutely rancid, it's far more likely that the body was already poorly; ie it was already in a state that it would be rejecting whatever happened to be consumed next.

(in fact the fact that your wife was fine tends to point to the same conclusion... it wasn't the sushi)

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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by HuaHin61 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:43 pm

Pleng wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:52 pm
HuaHin61 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:04 pm
I almost expected your answer, but I am sure that the cause was the McD food,
because during holiday (in tropical aereas) i eat only twice a day, breakfast and diner,
and the breakfast i got every day in the same restaurant / same hotel,
so the problem only could be caused by the food in the evening.
I thought you only had the one McDonalds? Now you've had it every evening?
Also, why could the breakfast not have been the cause, just because you ate there every day? What is it about eating in a place regularly makes it less likely that on one of those occasions they inadvertently prepared your breakfast poorly, or used an ingredient that was perhaps past its best? There is absolutely no logic behind your argument. In fact, statistically it's the most likely place you picked up the issue from.
> Now you've had it every evening?
>
oh no, you got me wrong: :tsk:
i did not eat at McD every day - beware, i did not wrote that, one time in that holiday was quite too much.

i wrote:
HuaHin61 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:04 pm
because during holiday (in tropical aereas) i eat only twice a day, breakfast and diner,
and the breakfast i got every day in the same restaurant / same hotel,
so the problem only could be caused by the food in the evening.
Last edited by HuaHin61 on Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
take it easy

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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by HuaHin61 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:56 pm

Pleng wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:52 pm
caller wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:44 pm
When you consider the vast number of burgers McD or BK must sell in Hua Hin alone, it's amazing to think that a few visitors knocking back bellyful's of alcohol, dodgy ice, full brekkies, snacks et al, can all authoritatively state it was the burger that did it!
joelle wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:51 am
what a lot of people don't truly know is the harmful effects of the Sun and a lot of times put their illness down to food poisoning, many don't bother to protect themselves, to wear a hat, they also ride scooters half naked and so on
sometimes it only takes a few minutes and bam sun stroke, happen to me occasionally when I could not be bothered to put a hat on and standing in the sun looking at this or that for a short time or can happen riding a scooter with a helmet on but the back of the neck unprotected
you don't have to lay on the beach to get a sunstroke !
all the same symptoms nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea etc.., fortunately it does not happen every time, but when it does mostly it is not food poisoning
Both very good comments. I find it very irritating when I do contract a stomach bug that the first thing I'm asked by anybody it comes up with in conversation is "what did you eat"; as if that's the only possible cause of getting ill in this manner.
yes, agree, good coments, but . . .

to prevent food illness, as i wrote before,
  • i start eating two charcoal-tablets every day for the first days, so the body has enough time to get used to the tropical climate
    i never drink alcohol,
    I never take drinks with ice cubes of unclear origin
    I do not spend more than 1 hour in direct sunlight
    Top priority in dealing with food: cook it, peel it - or forget it.
but sometimes, you even have no more appetite while eating and
you almost feel the body start to resist eating more of the stuff, because there is something wrong with that.
take it easy

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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by MDMK » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:36 pm

I don't know if men notice these kind of things at all, I know of a few men I have pointed it out to who have started paying attention and agreed it's gross: That is

the amount of women I see in toilets in shopping malls, wearing the uniform of one of the food places, breeze out of the toilets without washing their hands, or you get loads that do a kind of half hearted swipe under a tap and shake.

I know it doesn't prove anything, for all I know they could be using sanitizer gel when they get back to their place of work, but even if they were it's still far from good hygiene practice

it's got even worse since everyone has phones.... phones in hand (or at least not in a bag or pocket) in cubicle... ewwwwww, they must have to set it down somewhere at some point (no women can pee one handed!), so I guess that would be atop the cistern, on top of the sanitary-towel disposal bin, the used tissue bin, or the floor. Many phones must be a breeding ground for yukkies and we all know phones are out and in use often enough around food and drink prep and serving.

plus I always think, if you'll pee or shit and not wash your hands, I assume that's because you don't see the risk, then it would kinda follow for me that you'd also not see the risk in ???say quick wiping a chopping board where you had just sliced raw chicken then slicing cucumber on it.

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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by Pleng » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:54 pm

HuaHin61 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:43 pm
Pleng wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:52 pm
HuaHin61 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:04 pm
I almost expected your answer, but I am sure that the cause was the McD food,
because during holiday (in tropical aereas) i eat only twice a day, breakfast and diner,
and the breakfast i got every day in the same restaurant / same hotel,
so the problem only could be caused by the food in the evening.
I thought you only had the one McDonalds? Now you've had it every evening?
Also, why could the breakfast not have been the cause, just because you ate there every day? What is it about eating in a place regularly makes it less likely that on one of those occasions they inadvertently prepared your breakfast poorly, or used an ingredient that was perhaps past its best? There is absolutely no logic behind your argument. In fact, statistically it's the most likely place you picked up the issue from.
> Now you've had it every evening?
>
oh no, you got me wrong: :tsk:
i did not eat at McD every day - beware, i did not wrote that, one time in that holiday was quite too much.

i wrote:
HuaHin61 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:04 pm
because during holiday (in tropical aereas) i eat only twice a day, breakfast and diner,
and the breakfast i got every day in the same restaurant / same hotel,
so the problem only could be caused by the food in the evening.
I'm well aware of what you wrote. However your have stated that you have ruled out the guesthouse that you were staying at (for no good reason), therefore it can only have been something you ate at night. You have also said that you ate at McDonalds the night you became ill. So if you didn't eat at Mcdonals for the two nights leading up to the incident, how have you ruled out those venues?

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Re: How not to get sick on holiday in Thailand

Post by handdrummer » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:34 pm

I'm well aware of what you wrote. However your have stated that you have ruled out the guesthouse that you were staying at (for no good reason), therefore it can only have been something you ate at night. You have also said that you ate at McDonalds the night you became ill. So if you didn't eat at Mcdonals for the two nights leading up to the incident, how have you ruled out those venues?

Ah Hah! I think you're onto something. I've called Sheetrock Homes & Dick Tator and they're on the case.
All venues will be inspected and suspicious persons interviewed. I expect the case to be closed by xmas.
In the meantime the protagonist will be quarantined and not allowed to eat until the final results are in.

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