Think you’re a savvy traveller?
Test your travel smarts and learn a few facts about safe food and drink consumption in hepatitis A and typhoid fever risk areas.
You’ve made the wrong choice.
When travelling to a hepatitis A or typhoid fever risk area, it’s best to steer clear of drinks that are potentially made with tap water. This includes juices, cocktails or smoothies that contain or are blended with ice.
When travelling to a hepatitis A or typhoid fever risk area, bottled drinks are a safer option, especially those that are carbonated. (Bubbles indicate that the drink has remained sealed!)
Food that has been cooked and served very hot is the safest option, whether at a high-end restaurant or from a street vendor. But, be cautious of any food that has been sitting at room temperature.
This is not the safest option.
When travelling to a hepatitis A or typhoid fever risk area, raw food should generally be avoided. This applies to meat, seafood, and pre-cut fruit or veggies, including salad.
According to the CDC, (clear) water is considered safe to drink after bringing it to a rolling boil for one minute. At elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for three minutes.
There’s no harm in boiling for longer, but according to the CDC, water is considered safe to drink after having boiled for just one minute.
In most developing countries, consuming tap water can be risky, even in larger cities. This includes accidentally swallowing water when showering or brushing your teeth.
In most developing countries, consuming tap water can be risky, even in larger cities. This includes accidentally swallowing water when showering or brushing your teeth. In hepatitis A and typhoid fever risk areas, it’s best to brush your teeth with boiled, filtered or bottled water.
You’re likely to make smart food and drink choices on your trip abroad, but don’t forget to ask your doctor about travel vaccines before you go. Visit the Resources section for even more information on ViVAXIM® and travel health.
You’ve got lots to learn, and this is a great time to start! Scroll down on this page for important tips on food and drink abroad, and talk to your doctor about travel vaccines before you depart on your trip.
Don’t spoil your trip! If you’re visiting a hepatitis A or typhoid fever risk area, help protect your health by making smart choices before and during your trip. Both diseases are spread through contaminated food and drink – for instance, if you consume something that has been prepared by an infected person. Remember that good hygiene and sanitation are also important!
Ask your doctor about ViVAXIM® at least two weeks before travel.
Pack an alcohol-based hand sanitizer – this can come in handy when soap and water are not available.
Wash your hands with soap before every meal.
Avoid raw and unpasteurized food, including salads and unpeeled fruit. Eat only foods that have been thoroughly cooked or come in sealed packages, and fruits you’ve peeled yourself.
Avoid drinking tap water or drinks made with ice, including fountain drinks. Choose drinks that are bottled, carbonated or served boiling hot.
Eat food from street vendors with caution – if you choose to do so, make sure the food is served very hot (e.g. right off the grill).
Use bottled or boiled water when brushing your teeth. Avoid swallowing water when showering or swimming.
Some travellers may have already received vaccinations for certain diseases such as hepatitis B as part of public immunization programs* – but hepatitis A and typhoid fever are not currently included in Canadian vaccination schedules.†
* Vaccination against hepatitis B has been part of publicly funded school-based programs beginning in 1987.
† Except in Quebec, where hepatitis A vaccine has been offered in grade 4 since 2013, and at 18 months of age since 2019.
As with many travel vaccines, ViVAXIM® should be administered at least two weeks before your trip. It’s best to prepare early and discuss immunization options with your healthcare provider a few weeks before your departure.