Avoid Tummy Troubles in Morocco → Food & Water Hygiene

Mechoui (spicy lamb roast), harira (tomato soup) and chicken & date tajine are just some of Morocco's delicious traditional dishes. But, there's no need to get the traditional upset stomach too - so here are some simple precautions.

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Here are some top tips to reduce the risk of riding the porcelain bus, so you can enjoy the delicious delights of this North African destination.

Food in Morocco is delicious and amongst the best cuisine in the world. However, you should only eat fruit or vegetables that have been peeled, washed or cooked prior to eating. Seasoned travelers avoid salads altogether, unless they're sure they've been prepared hygienically.

Hot food cooked quickly is usually safe to eat, but avoid food that may have been stewing away all day in the sun, and then reheated late in the afternoon or evening

Basic Hygiene in Morocco

Sometimes, when you try the local cuisine in a foreign country, the food will cause tummy troubles. But, the most common reason for an upset stomach is a lack of awareness around basic hygiene in the country.

Always wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom. Especially after touching items in the souks or exploring leather tanneries – these places are full of dust and grime.

Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer which is helpful in places where there are no hand washing facilities.

Left Hand, Right Hand

Which brings us to the Islamic tradition of using the right hand for eating, and the left hand for, well, everything else.

Commercially produced toilet paper wasn't widely circulated until 1857, and Morocco happens to be one of the destinations where "traditional" methods are still being used. Not only is it offensive to use the left hand to eat, or to greet someone, but adopting the 'right hand left hand' rule is another way of avoiding infections.

Shoes are considered dirty in many countries, but particularly in Arabic culture. When you consider where they've been, there's good reason to pack them away in plastic bags so that the soles don't contaminate the rest of your luggage.

Never show the soles of your shoes, or take off your shoes in company - this is considered rude in most muslim countries (and elsewhere).

Don't Drink the Desert Water

Drinking water directly from a tap in Morocco isn't a good idea.

However, the Moroccan authorities are concerned about the pollution caused by plastic from bottled water, and many hotels have filtered water for guests which is considered safe to drink. They have detailed information on the filtration method, and this water is usually free. 

Bottled water is widely available in Morocco if you're out and about. It's vital to drink at least 2-3 litres of fluid daily in Morocco to avoid dehydration. This is a particularly acute problem in desert areas, and if you're walking in the Atlas mountains.

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1 Comment

  • Cormac said

    Toilet paper is not a Western invention.
    It's another bloody Chinese invention:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_inventions

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