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aholm

Mar 23, 2009, 6:22 PM

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Drinking the water in Mexico

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Hello,
I suppose this comes up every so often, but here goes.
We're planning to visit either the Lake Chapala area or the Manzanillo area in the next year. The last time I was in Mexico - Cancun area - I got really sick. I think it was because I brushed my teeth with the tap water - we were told that was OK. Or it may have been from eating a fresh salad at a local restaurant - I suppose they wash the produce with tap water.
After further reading, this is my plan for our next trip. Don't let any tap water enter my lips. Wash my hands very often. Drink ONLY bottled water. Don't eat fresh produce in restaurants. Take extra pills of the healthy bacteria. Wash all produce at home with the recommended purifying washes.
Any other suggestions from those of you who've lived there awhile? Thanks.
Andrew



Jean_S

Mar 24, 2009, 1:30 PM

Post #2 of 17 (6609 views)

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Re: [aholm] Drinking the water in Mexico

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You're off to a good start :)

Soak your eggs to clean the outside of them the same as you would vegetables and fruits. There is salmonella on the outside of eggs.

Wash all fruits like banannas, pineapple etc. Even though peeling or cutting them you think the fruit inside is safe, your hands have touched the outside.

Watch what you buy at the markets. Yogurt and cheeses that are not pasturized. Things that have been out in the sun for the day and could be spoiled.

It sounds like overkill but it's a whole lot better than getting sick.


MazDee

Mar 24, 2009, 8:26 PM

Post #3 of 17 (6569 views)

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Re: [aholm] Drinking the water in Mexico

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I am much less cautious than that, but I believe we all have different tolerances to bacteria. I wash all my produce at home with microdyne, unless I am going to cook it. Then, just tap water. I drink bottled water, but usually brush my teeth with tap water. I eat fresh salads in restaurants, with no hesitation, because the places that serve what gringos call salads normally prepare them hygenically (or they would be out of business soon). I do not eat the fresh salsa that is served at taco stands unless I know it is fresh and cold. A local newspaper in Mazatlán warned that salsa was a major source of stomach ailments during the summer months, and reports are that in the US, salsa also is often a problem in restaurants. I have no hesitation eating peeled fruit of any kind in a restaurant or even on the street. I wash my hands a lot, in fact, whenever I come into the house. I have never been sick in Mazatlán, and I have lived here over 6 years. I have been sick twice in México, once at a very nice ($$) place in Vallarta, right after eating a wonderful shrimp curry, and once after eating a Chinese dinner in Guadalajara. And once in the US after eating a hamburger. Each event lasted about 24 hours. These incidents span almost 50 years. Could have happened anywhere.
Please don't limit yourself too much, or be too frightened. If you go to a restaurant Lakeside, eat the salad, the fruit, don't worry! If you eat on the street, go where everybody else does!
Have a great and healthy experience. Dee


stina

Mar 25, 2009, 6:53 AM

Post #4 of 17 (6537 views)

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Re: [MazDee] Drinking the water in Mexico

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I haven't been sick since coming to Mexico almost 2 years ago. I was my hands a lot, wash produce w/ antimicrobial stuff, drink bottled water (but brush my teeth with tap water.)

As far as street food goes- I tend to avoid it (except for fruit) entirely during the really hot months here in Guadalajara (April-June). I also make a point of going to places where I can see the employees have water and soap so they can wash their hands.


Ivester


Mar 25, 2009, 7:19 AM

Post #5 of 17 (6532 views)

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Re: [stina] Drinking the water in Mexico

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All of the above advice is good, but keep in mind that having stomach problems in MX isn't always caused by something in the water. I think it's often just the result of dehydration, from simply not drinking enough liquids while rushing around seeing the sights, and sometimes putting away a bit too much alcohol. I always try to keep some bottled water at hand--easily found in MX, and usually very cheap--and I try to keep the cerveza intake within normal limits, not always easy since it's also easily available and cheap by US standards.


Rolly


Mar 25, 2009, 9:46 AM

Post #6 of 17 (6503 views)

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Re:Drinking the water in Mexico

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Now for the contrarian view:

Here in Lerdo I drink tap water, I don't wash food, and I eat on the street.

When I first came here 9 years ago, I had a low-grade mal de gut for a couple of months -- not really sick but not really OK. Since then I have had food poisoning twice -- once from a restaurant and once from my kitchen. I was sick more often, and more seriously, in Los Angeles, including 4 days in the hospital thanks to KFC.

Tap water is safe in many cities in México. Ask a local doctor; he'll know if the community has safe water.

OK, flamers and fearful ones, it's your turn.

Rolly Pirate


esperanza

Mar 25, 2009, 11:25 AM

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Re: [Rolly] Re:Drinking the water in Mexico

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Oooh, Rolly, you are a really bad example! LOL...

I eat almost anything at street stands, including salsas.

I only purify vegetables and fruit if foreigners are coming to eat with us. So many people are horrified that I otherwise don't bother, and I surely wouldn't want anyone to get sick at my table.

I've never purified an egg, a banana, an orange, etc, although I know people who do that.

We eat fresh vegetables in salads, fruit (we just bought a huge container of gaspacho moreliano, for comida), and everything else that appears on our plates in restaurants.

I've been sick once (10 years ago) with E. Coli that almost killed me. I got it from a very upscale restaurant that catered to tourists at Lake Chapala. That restaurant is long gone.

The second time I was sick was with typhoid, which I contracted in 2002 in France. My Mexican doctor cured me when I got back home.

Otherwise, nada.

YMMV.

PS
I drink bottled water, but I do brush my teeth with tap water.


http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by tonyburton on Mar 25, 2009, 4:11 PM)


tonyburton


Mar 25, 2009, 4:14 PM

Post #8 of 17 (6439 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Re:Drinking the water in Mexico

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A reply to this post was deleted as it added nothing of value to the discussion. Please keep the discourse on the forums civil and if you disagree with a posting, kindly focus your response on the message, and not on the messenger. Thank you! Tony


smokesilver

Mar 25, 2009, 6:22 PM

Post #9 of 17 (6418 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Re:Drinking the water in Mexico

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Each of us has a different level of tolerance , in MY opinion, to certain bacterias. MazDee has it right. I do not live in Mexico but I have visited dozens of times & I have never been ill. I don't eat 'street food'. My wife did not feel well for a couple of days on one trip. My secret: as a member of the USAF I spent 3 years in the Philippines, Vietnam & Japan. The former two countries are similar to Mexico, in some parts anyway. They are HOT, humid with bacteria walking around everywhere. I think that I developed a high tolerance level in those countries. FWIW


Hound Dog

Mar 25, 2009, 8:02 PM

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Re: [aholm] Drinking the water in Mexico

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Just a word for those thinking they understand that place in which they reside today.

In the 1960s I had the opportunity to travel about the world as a poverty stricken but adventurous backpacker and therein lies a long story stretching from Athens to Alexandria to Kampala to Kathmandu but that is not the point. During those travels about the "developing" worlds, one becomes cognizant of the dangers of doing so and begins to realize the dangers and thrills of living on the edge of the world among those who may or may not share one´s values including the value that one´s life has significance.

Here is what caused me to wax stupidly about positions taken by others hereabouts regarding the dangers of existing in lands foreign to one and one´s presumption at assessing that danger. More specifically, taking the wholly unsupportable position that because one "inhabits" a place on our globe one is knowledgeable about its characteristics.

That sort of illogic leads some among us to posit that because one has failed to have become violently ill upon having ingested certain foodstuffs provided in unclean places, those unclean places do not provide unclean food.

So here is my story:

In 1969 I arrived in Murchinson Falls National Park in Uganda and, as I was dirt poor in those days, I could not afford the park lodge and had to hike over to a cliffside tent city set up for poor touirists and on the way there I decided to take a short cut through the bush because I was a total idiot and could spot the tent city on a cliff and about 100 feet into the bush I ran upon an African Buffalo, the single most dangerous creature in the bush and he was startled by me and confronted me with some aggravation and at that point I had no choice but to stare him down which I successfully did and he trotted off after about 10 tense minutes and that is the reason I am alive today because he could have crushed me like a pingpong ball in the palm of Godzilla so I hope you get my drift here.

The reason these people can brag about surviving the tainted water or food they consumed here in Mexico is because that food turned and trotted off not because that water or food could not have kicked their a-ass had they wanted to. I say stop bragging about being alive and thank God for that fact which may not prevail tomorrow. .


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Mar 25, 2009, 8:10 PM)


Rolly


Mar 25, 2009, 8:21 PM

Post #11 of 17 (6391 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Drinking the water in Mexico

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"The reason these people can brag about surviving the tainted water or food they consumed here in Mexico is because that food turned and trotted off not because that water or food could not have kicked their a-ass had they wanted to."

If I understand correctly, you are saying/implying that all street food and city water in México is unsafe -- a patently absurd assumption.

Rolly Pirate


Hound Dog

Mar 25, 2009, 9:09 PM

Post #12 of 17 (6382 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drinking the water in Mexico

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If I understand correctly, you are saying/implying that all street food and city water in México is unsafe -- a patently absurd assumption

You do not understand correctly. You disappoint me.


aholm

Mar 26, 2009, 7:23 AM

Post #13 of 17 (6347 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Drinking the water in Mexico

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Sorry that this discussion has taken a dark turn. I appreciate the insights. All I wanted was to hear the perspectives of various people living in Mexico - I wanted them to share their experiences. I have the intelligence to interpret their experiences and adapt their insights to my own situations. Thanks so much for taking the time to share!
Andrew


Hound Dog

Mar 26, 2009, 10:45 AM

Post #14 of 17 (6319 views)

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Re: [aholm] Drinking the water in Mexico

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Sorry that this discussion has taken a dark turn. I appreciate the insights. All I wanted was to hear the perspectives of various people living in Mexico - I wanted them to share their experiences.

Why, Andrew, do you interpret this discussion to have taken a "dark turn" just because diffferent respondents to your inquiry are at odds over the answer? Would you prefer a forum where what you refer to as "experience sharing" were in lock step among respondents and therefore unenlightening for the questioner? As you desired, you heard different perspectives and you should benefit from that experience therefore you have seemingly accomplished your goal. In my judgment, that says a great deal about the intelligence of those participating in these forums rather than signalling that those responding here are bent intellectually and to be pitied.

For now, Rolly and Esperanza, who I consider to be friends, can drink from my jug last filled from my San Cristóbal municipal water supply and I´ll have that cold and inviting XX Lager to quench my thirst. There you have it - a sharing of experiences. Can the sanctimony.


ms mac

Mar 26, 2009, 10:56 AM

Post #15 of 17 (6316 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Drinking the water in Mexico

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Apparentlly, Aholm hasn't seen you in action before, Dawg. This is tame in comparison.
ms mac


tonyburton


Mar 26, 2009, 11:20 AM

Post #16 of 17 (6310 views)

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Re: [ms mac] Drinking the water in Mexico

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I believe this thread has more than run its natural course (both in terms of the original question, which was in relation to the Lake Chapala area, and perhaps even in fluvial and hydrological terms), so I'm locking it as is, and if you want to continue the discussion, feel free to start a new thread -perhaps on the Living Forum?


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Mar 26, 2009, 11:20 AM)


Rolly


Mar 26, 2009, 11:20 AM

Post #17 of 17 (6310 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Drinking the water in Mexico

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...Rolly and Esperanza, who I consider to be friends, can drink from my jug last filled from my San Cristóbal municipal water supply...

I'll take you up on that if you'll turn the water into old fashioned Southern iced tea with a sprig of mint.

Rolly Pirate
 
 
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