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(Beware Of) Water, Water Everywhere

Is it safe to drink?

(HealthDayNews) -- Many a vacation in the U.S. and abroad has been ruined by intestinal illness brought on by the consumption of contaminated food or drink. Water is the most frequent carrier of infectious agents.

In areas with poor sanitation, you may be able to safely drink only boiled water, hot beverages (such as coffee or tea) made with boiled water, canned or bottled carbonated beverages, beer, and wine. Ice may be made from unsafe water and should be avoided.

Boiling is the most reliable method to make water safe to drink. Bring water to a vigorous boil, then allow it to cool; do not add ice. At high altitudes, allow water to boil vigorously for a few minutes. Adding a pinch of salt or pouring water from one container to another will improve the taste.

As a last resort, water that is uncomfortably hot to touch may be safe for drinking and brushing teeth after it is allowed to cool. However, many disease-causing organisms can survive the usual temperature reached by the hot water in overseas hotels.

Consumer News