What is Living in Thailand REALLY Like?

Eating Thai Food Stall Food

Good food, good taste slogan from Thailand Health Department.
These restaurants are good to eat at!

I’ve eaten at some type of food stalls in Thailand maybe half of the time I’ve been here. I have been violently ill about 4 times in 4 years. I’m not sure if visitors need to build up a resistance to the new bacteria here or what exactly. I know a few times I did eat at shady food stalls. And other times I got sick I had eaten only at clean restaurants with the “Clean Food, Good Taste” sign. Look for this sign – for some reason only clean restaurants or “more clean” are supposed to have it. I’m not sure about the validity of it – where the sign comes from.

Any restaurant can have unclean practices though. I”ve had restaurants with the sign serve me undercooked chicken and pork before. Make sure your chicken and pork (and beef if you get it) is cooked well enough to kill whatever might be in there.

Recently there was an outbreak of e.Coli here that killed a number of people. Turns out it was on some fresh spinach leaves.

Some rules I follow when deciding whether to eat at a food stall:

  1. Is it in a high-traffic area? I usually don’t eat at one that isn’t.
  2. Are other people eating there? If not, it might mean that it isn’t any good. When choosing a Thai restaurant to eat – an expensive one – I’ll always go with the one that is PACKED with Thais. They won’t spend a lot of money on bad food.
  3. Does the food behind the glass and on the table look fresh? Are tables clean? Flies buzzing around are normal.
  4. Look at the condiments tray if they have some. Is it clean or dirty? If dirty I’d never eat there.

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