This is an article on how to stay healthy while visiting India. India, which lies within the Indomalaya ecozone, displays significant biodiversity.

  1. Be always careful to wash our hands before eating and after using the bathroom with Wash and Dry’s. They contain benzalkonium chloride, which is also the active ingredient in Bactine (it might be easier and cheaper to just bring a small bottle of Bactine). Don’t eat in a restaurant where there is no one else. This is a sign that food may not be fresh.
  2. Avoid lukewarm food. Eat food only if it is served hot. Avoid tourist buffets, where the food is likely to have been sitting out.
  3. Always avoid meat except in better restaurants. Reasoning: you’re more likely to get sick from bad meat, than from veggies/rice/bread.
  4. Don’t order the Western Food except in major restaurants–no one else orders it and so it is likely not to be fresh. Of course, in restaurant in major hotels, we found that it was okay. Also, Nirula’s for pizza in Delhi is great.
  5. Wipe out glasses and plates. Waiters may rinse them off to “help” you, but those little droplets of water can make you sick. If glasses don’t look clean, drink soda straight from the bottle.
  6. EAT a lot of yoghurt (curd) in the first few days to let our systems adapt to the local flora, and have met other people who have done the same. I think this will really helped a lot.
  7. As a backup, bring a plastic jar of peanut butter from the US. In small towns, it is easy to just get bread and dip it in the peanut butter. It may be tougher to bring peanut butter if you are bringing only a backpack. Otherwise, its fairly simple.
  8. Restaurant rules: Don’t drink from the glass if it looks slightly even dirty. Insist on carbonated water being brought to you in the bottle. If there are drops of local water on your dishes, dry them off before putting food on them. Do NOT eat from tourist buffets, especially cold food. We saw several tourist buffets with cans of sterno under the pots to keep them warm. But the sterno had gone out and so the food was getting cold (and incubating bacteria).