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Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

Toronto, Canada
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195 posts
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Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

I've been reading lots about the lobster cooked up fresh on the beach, salt and pepper shrimps, jerk chicken and now patties (I'm an hour away from my lunch and I'm starving too LOL). My question is are these cooked properly and to the correct temperatures? I would hate to eat something from a vendor and get sick. It happened to a friend in Mexico a few years back (it was a burrito thing) and I've been really apprehensive since. BUT - I really want to appreciate the sights, sounds and TASTES of Jamaica as well as contribute to the local economy. Any thoughts??

Hartford, WI
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1. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

First time I went there, we wouldn't eat anything except at the resort.

Now, I'll eat anything, anywhere as long as it looks relatively sanitary. I have never gotten sick yet. There are a few places I will not eat, like these little hut restaurants in the alley behind the fish market in St. Lucia. Food smells great, but the place is NASTY. Filthy dishes piled up on dirty stoves. I have heard they have awesome food, but not worth it to me to try it. Sorry, I digress. Most of the vendors I have seen around Jamaica at least have passable food sanitation. So definately, try the jerk, the lobster, the pepper shrimp and the patties.

ADB
New England
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2. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

I eat anything that comes my way on the beach and never got sick once. Wish I could say that about places I have ate in the states. The food is good and very fresh even on the beach.

montreal
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3. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

Me too.

Blessings and respect.

Steve

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio, Treasure Beach
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4. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

I eat everything in sight in JA, from stands on the road, jerk guys cooking over a streetside grill, the pepper swim....not gotten sick yet.

I got really sick in Mexico though...it's one of the reasons I'm not in a hurry to go back there. I was really careful about water and fresh fruit and ice and and such too.

Jacksonville...
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5. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

Enjoy whatever foods delight your palate...I eat everyting at every place I choose from the AI hotel restaurants to the cook shop run by my husband's Rasta uncle (by the way try his food, he's on the cliff's, Rasta Roddy)

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6. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

ohliz I hear your pain. I got so violently sick at a 5* AI in Mexico that I broke a toe running at full speed for the bathroom :O

I have to give up fresh veggies and fruit in Mexico and the DR--BOO! But I eat and drink anything and everything in Jamaica and never get sick. One of the best reasons to go to Jamaica is the food. Try it all!

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio, Treasure Beach
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7. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

You broke a toe? OUCH!

I admit I am really interested in the Riviera Maya and Isla Mujeres, they look like really cool and fun areas to explore...but skipping salads and fruits in the tropics???? That alone keeps me away.

Who wants to pay thousands of $$s to get sick?? When it happened to me we were in Cozumel and I had to stay very close to the hotel room for half the trip, it really sucked.

...and we were in a very nice hotel as well, but it was large so the beach/pool and our room were a long walk and elevator ride apart :(

NYS
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8. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

We never stay at AI's in the Caribbean but we did go AI for our one trip to Mexico (partly because it was cheap), and had no gastro-intestinal problems until a few hours after returning home (which I attribute to fast food at the Cancun airport).

I suspect that if we had eaten in a dozen little cantinas in Playa del Carmen we would have significantly increased our chance of a problem.

Definitely a negative for Mexico and the DR, compared to Jamaica and many other islands.

CAN
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9. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

I agree to an extent with the previous posters. I eat anywhere also (in JA). It's the water system that makes it so much safer in Jamaica. Mexico, DR, and Cuba do not have the same water quality.

My last visit though, I met a health inspector and I was surprised to know they don't have any regulations on the 'road side' or bike type vendors. Only the resorts, restaurants and hotels have regulations.

To be honest I did change my way of thinking...I still purchased from the bike patty guy on 7 mile and the fruit lady...but I decided to pass on the jerk pork off the back of a bike...pork not refridgerated? Hmmm made me think.

Having said that I too have never once been sick on any of my trips to Jamaica. ONE LOVE.

roxbury, ma
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10. Re: Buying food from vendors - is it safe??

never been sick and I for sure eat everything in sight when in Jamaica...as they say on IRIE FM in the am...eat ur food....

PEACE!