One of Thailand’s most exciting highlights are the street food stalls that line every corner and in front of every 7/11 no matter where you are. Streetfood is usually extremely cheap starting from 30 THB or about 1 USD. Food is usually made fresh, making consumers feel a certain level of safety from seeing the food cooked with heat.
It’s not just tourists or foreigners who are in love with Thai street food, even Thai citizens who have lived in the country their whole life still find it extremely fascinating and impossible to explore all the famous street food locations. Safety is key when choosing a street food stall, especially to those who tend to get food poisoning easier than others.
The Nutrition Association of Thailand Under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn conducted research on Thai street food. This research is based on 3 target groups which are the consumers, the sellers, and law enforcers. The study is based on 50 street food samples to determine the nutrition and microbiology quality in each sample.
A shocking result revealed that 21 samples or 42% had higher microorganisms than the usual standard. Many of the samples had E.coli, to be exact 19 samples from the 50 samples. Out of all the dishes, there were 5 common street food menus found with high numbers of E.coli.
- Red Pork Rice
- Crunchy Pork Rice
- Chicken Rice
- Pork Leg Rice
- Papaya Salad
These dishes all have one fact in common. Although the ingredients are cooked, they are often left to sit. When the menu is ordered, the cook cuts or mixes the ingredients together without any heat before serving. The first 4 dishes are also chopped on a wood cutting board. We can never know how the board is cleaned and the type of wood used to make the board.
A recommendation for those who love to eat the foods mentioned in this article is to double cook it at home before actually eating it, it’s always easier to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds compared to spending days in the toilet.
FB Caption: 19 street food samples from 50 had E.coli. Better double heat if you love these common street food dishes.