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Cuba - Food and Drinks

Cuba - Food and Drinks

Old Oct 13, 14, 5:55 pm
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Cuba - Food and Drinks

Going to Cuba in 3 weeks. Staying in Havana for 3 days at Melia Cohiba and then 3 days at Royal Hicacos in Varadero. Will the food and drinks be safe at these places? We could always stick with bottled beer and bottled water, but we're hoping for mojito's and cocktails too. Probably, will avoid any street food. Thanks for any input.
rahanman is offline  
Old Oct 16, 14, 8:14 am
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I never had any issue with any cocktails that I had in Cuba. The components are generally all bottled items anyway. Hotel Nacional has one of the best mojitos in Havana. Stick to bottled water for regular drinking. Food quality varies but, I ate from the cafeterias (lunch windows) many times without any issues. If you are going to eat any meat though, I would stick to a decent restaurant or paladar, if you go to a market, you realize how variable in sanitation the meat handling can be.
While I was in Varadero, I had no issues with food or drink. Same policy though, don't drink the water.
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Old Oct 16, 14, 12:47 pm
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Safe or bottled water's the ticket (tap water is not safe even in La Habana). I met people in Cuba who developed nasty things you don't want to bring home.

A taxi driver I hired had a large bottle of water in the car. He didn't worry about it before, but he was treated for E. hystolytica (amoebiasis) and is now a believer, for example.

Most upscale government operated restaurants, hotel eateries and paladares offer safe food (you may wish to ask about any treatment to salad fixings - many are fertilised with droppings from anything including chickennto human droppings, so untreated lettuce leaves can just be imagined as pretty amoeba beds ). On the street, in the market or the like, the old dictum "cook it, peel it or forget it" pretty much holds.

Take a think at taking daily probiotics, Pepto - and perhaps ciprofloxacin for treatment of any "Delhi belly" or "Batista's Revenge" you might come down with. And if you get anythingbghat gives you diarrhoea or makes you vomit, get oral hydration powder or solutions to keep hydrated and your electrolytes in balance.

Please don't take this as medical advuce , as it's not. There are reliable websites, and of course your healthcare professional. My HMO even has travel clinics we can consult, get prophylactic medicines and such as Cipro " just in case",
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Old Oct 17, 14, 4:12 pm
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During the whole time in Cuba, I stuck to bottled water, even for brushing my teeth, and I drank mojitos and daiquiris and other iced beverages in more upscale restaurants and paladars without any trouble.

However, on the last night, the two halves of our group reunited for a farewell dinner in a more downscale restaurant. I ordered one of the set meals, and my neighbor to the left ordered the same one. The difference was that she ordered a beer, and I decided to have one last mojito.

The reaction began at midnight (sudden onset vomiting) and continued for about 16 hours, including the trip home.

So yes, it's true what they say: you can get sick from the ice in an alcoholic beverage. But if you're in a tourist restaurant, the kind that takes only CUCs, you should be OK.
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