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Los Cabos Authorities Advise Extreme Caution For Tourists Eating Street Food

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With the temperature heating up in Los Cabos, it’s important to be careful with eating food items from outdoor street food vendors.

While food from a street vendor can be a tasty treat on the go, it can also cause problems later on if the proper precautions aren’t taken to make sure tourists stay safe.

Food vendor selling food in Mexico

Food Temperatures

The biggest issue with local street food vendors is not cleanliness. For the most part, most of the food vendors in Los Cabos take their craft very seriously, and cleanliness is an important factor.

The challenge is keeping foods at the proper temperatures in the outdoor sun.

The standard is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Unless a street vendor is plugged into an electricity source, which is pretty unusual, that involves some type of grill setup and plenty of ice.

Foodborne bacteria can multiply in food that is not maintained at the proper hot or cold temperature.

Food vendor selling food in Mexico

For most tourists, this may cause an inconvenient ailment, such as an upset stomach.

If it is accompanied by more complex situations such as vomiting or diarrhea, it becomes a bigger issue due to the potential for dehydration.

Food Prep Cleanliness

Where food cleanliness is an issue, it is important for tourists in Los Cabos to first stop and observe before making a purchase.

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Food vendor selling food in Mexico

Especially watch how the street food is prepared by the street food vendor and the preventative procedures they take to ensure cleanliness.

Do they wear gloves when handling the food or wash their hands after every customer? Does the vendor sanitize their prep tools to make sure they are clean before serving? Is there a water source nearby to rinse off items?

These are all items tourists will want to observe as a base level of general cleanliness.

Food vendor preparing food in Mexico

If the food does not appear to be prepared to a standard that the visitor is comfortable with cleanliness, they should move on to avoid getting sick.

Mask Wearing

All kitchen workers in Los Cabos are required to still wear facial coverings as part of their food preparation procedures. Street food vendors should be held to the same standard.

Beach vendor pushing a food cart in Mexico

While the incidents of COVID-19 infections are on the decline thanks to the vaccine technology, they are still present. Even beyond the pandemic, there are a number of more common foodborne diseases spread by droplets from breathing.

If the street food vendor is not meeting the requirement from the Los Cabos health department, it’s best to choose a different food vendor for your plate.

What To Do If You Get Sick

Women patient and doctor talking over her condition on a hospital bed

First and foremost, it is recommended that international tourists in Los Cabos always obtain travelers insurance as most health care plans in the United States do not provide coverage while in Los Cabos. Visitors should check their health care coverage before traveling.

In the event a Los Cabos traveler gets sick, it is important to monitor for fever and other symptoms that could indicate a bigger issue. If an elevated temperature arises, it’s important to visit a local medical facility.

Otherwise, it may just be an inconvenience to the trip. Start by drinking fluids on a regular basis. Skip the water and instead choose sport drinks with electrolytes. The biggest risk is actually dehydration from foodborne illness.

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Once a visitor starts feeling better, a BRAT diet is a smart move for an angry stomach. That bland diet involved Bananas, plain Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Not the most exciting vacation meal while in Los Cabos, but will be easier on the sick visitor’s stomach.

Continue drinking electrolyte-based fluids while skipping the water and hopefully it will clear up quickly.

If conditions worsen, Los Cabos visitors should seek medical attention immediately. Consult the staff at the resort or hotel for recommended clinics or emergency rooms.

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Sunday 9th of April 2023

Your article on street food was very good. One thing that should have been included was to know or be able to find the list of medical centers that are deemed as non-predatory to foreign visitors. The US Consulate in Mexico has a list on their website. Even if you have travel insurance, this does mean your bills will get paid. If the travel insurance deems the bills excessive the insurance company will not pay. Think you'll be off the hook?? Think again, most of the medical billing for tourists is done for the Mexican facilities in the US and Canada.