by Tanisha Ramshai

Corporate Wellness

Eight tips for sanitary Business travel

“Traveller’s diarrhoea is one of the most common complaints afflicting international business travellers which is a pity because the simple act of hand washing for at least 30 seconds with soap and then sanitising with an alcohol-based sanitiser reduces by 95% the number of bacteria, parasites, and viruses acquired through human contact, or from contaminated surfaces and objects,” says Rika van Rooyen, Bidvest Steiner Sales Director.

Picking up a stomach bug can ruin business meetings abroad with uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal cramps, nausea, and bloating. And nobody wants to waste a trip overseas only to cancel meetings with important clients.

 It is usually caused by bacteria found in contaminated water and food and is often due to unhygienic handling of food and improper storage. In extreme cases it may need to be treated with antibiotics. 

Here are eight tips to help you avoid getting the dreaded stomach bug on business trips abroad:

1. Drinking bottled carbonated water or drinks are the safest choice because it is almost impossible to "fake" carbonation when refilling a used bottle.

2. Go so far as to brush your teeth with sparking bottled water, not still.

3. Hold the ice! This is a tricky one in tropical climates but if you’re staying in a business hotel with an in-room fridge, freeze your carbonated water, even at the risk of looking like a dweeb when you arrive at the bar with your own ice.

4. Avoid all raw fruits and vegetables unless they can be peeled and you peel them yourself.

5. If your hosts expect you to taste food from street vendors as they take you on a stroll, make sure you discretely sample only what is very hot or has been boiled.

6. Take along at least two packs of chewable (the water, remember?) Imodium tablets so you don’t have to run around looking for a remedy in a foreign country when you can least afford it.

7. Also pack a good quality hand sanitiser and alcohol-based wipes to sanitise regularly, but please don’t whip them out at every opportunity, offending your hosts.

8. Depending on where you are going and how long you are staying, your doctor may recommend that you take antibiotics before leaving to protect you from possible infection.
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