We eat foods everyday. Food is one of our three basic needs which are food, cloth and shelter. As it mainly involves in our daily life, its sanitation is very important for our health.

In addition to sanitation of foods, food handlers’ cleanliness, storage, sanitation of appliances and the ways the food is served are also important. Here are a few tips for not getting diarrhoea from your meal.


Causes of diarrohoea in Myanmar and worldwide

In relation with meal, there are three causes of diarrhoea: bacterial causes, viral causes and traveler’s diarrhoea.

In bacterial causes, some adverse bacteria can cause our digestive system not to function properly. These can be found in raw meats, eggs, shellfish, unpasteurized milk, unclean utensils and food handlers’ hands.

In viral causes, the viruses causing diarrhoea are highly contagious and can easily travel from unwashed hand and get into our stomach.

For traveler’s diarrhoea, this is usually happening to the ones who are travelling to a foreign country. Depending on the country, 30% to 70% of travelers can suffer. This is due to unfamiliarity with local environment, food and water. It is usually relieved within 12 hours.


Knowing about our meals

Milk and diary products are more likely to cause diarrhoea than the others. In Myanmar, drinking milk is not very popular as many prefer coffee, tea and soft drinks. However, rice noodle used in Myanmar’s famous Mont-Hin-Khar can be one of the factors. Awareness should be taken when to eat street foods. Fruits can also have pathogens causing diarrhoea on its peels.

In Myanmar, most street food seller have poor knowledge about sanitation. Many street foods can be seen uncovered beside the roads where dusts and pathogens can be easily present. However, peoples from Myanmar are already familiar with this situation and also seem to have some resistance. If you are a visitor to Myanmar, you should aware this because it may lead you to have bacterial diarrhoea.

There are also effective microorganisms in our digestive systems. They maintain healthy digestive tract and cause the digestive function properly. If these microorganisms are fewer than normal, you may be more prone to diarrhoea. Fortunately, there are foods that contain these effective microorganisms. The famous one is yogurt. Yogurt richly consists of effective microorganisms and drinking it usually makes your digestive system healthier.


Dos and Don’ts

As diarrhoea can be caused due to lack of sanitation in food, food making, food handling, storage etc. Sanitation is the essential one to take care not to get diarrhoea from your meal. 

Food preparation should be proper and clean and it is important to use fresh ingredients. Unfresh or over ripen food can also lead to diarrhoea. Basic body hygiene is also needed. Both hands should be washed carefully with soap before and after eating food. Prepared meals should be covered before eat to avoid from flies. Flies are one of the main vectors which carry pathogens causing diarrhoea. Fruits should be peeled before eating. Meats, fishes and eggs should be cooked properly before eating because there are many strains in yaw meats, fishes and eggs. For diary products, you should its freshness in priority.

Avoid street foods if you are not familiar with them. Or choose street food sellers with good sanitation. Avoid keeping leftovers so long at room temperature. These should be kept in refrigerator as soon as possible to keep its freshness. Food containers, utensils, glasses and other apparatus should be clean properly. Don’t drink untreated raw water. If purified water cannot be available, boiled water should be used for drinking purpose.


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