I just returned from the TBEX conference in Fort Lauderdale (see webcam here). While there I had the chance to meet with the CDC, who told me about this handy app for travelers that’s in fact made by them: CDC, Can I Eat This? One of the big worries people have when traveling internationally is getting sick from the food or water, and so the app has information on drinking and eating safely in Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and every country in between.
It’s easy to use. Just select the country you’re in and tap Drinking or Eating. I tried selecting Singapore, and after chose Food it asked what kind: Meat, Dairy, Fruits or Vegetables, Eggs, Bread, or None of the Above. After I selected Fruits and Vegetables, it asked if the food is Raw or Cooked. I selected Cooked and it asked if the food had been sitting out or not. If it had been served hot, I was told it was okay to eat, but if it had been sitting out in a buffet, it told me to eat at my own risk.
For drinks in Afghanistan, which I also tried, it asks if there’s ice in the drink or not. If there is, it says to not drink it. If there’s not, it asks what kind of drink: Milk, Water, Fruit Juice, Soda, Alcohol, Coffee, or Tea. I selected water, and I was shown a photo of a bottled water with a caption Yes and a picture of tap water with the word No.
Clearly there are a lot of variables, and there’s tons of helpful information in CDC, Can I Eat This? But some of it I would take with a grain of salt, since for example, it states you should not eat food from a street vendor in Thailand and I’ve eat food from Thai street vendors many times and never had a problem. I just go to the busy ones and the ones that my expat friends recommend.