Thai Language Blog

Food Poisoning part 1 of 2 Posted by on Oct 23, 2010 in Beginner, Culture, Intermediate

Thailand is very much lawless when it comes to food and health regulations. Many Thai people neither understand foodborne illness, nor do they see a financial benefit in disposing of otherwise questionable food. Not to mention all the farming chemicals they use that have been banned in western countries!

Besides, would you trust a restaurant that advertises clean testes? After seeing this below sign, I just *had* to eat here. =)

As such, your weakling farang stomach (ท้อง), after eating clean food (อาหารสะอาด) most of your life, is especially susceptible to foodborne-illnesses (อาหารเป็นพิษ) while in Thailand.

But before we get started on คำศัพท์ใหม่ (new vocabulary), a few tips to eat safe. First, avoid eating Thai shrimp กุ้งไทย here in Thailand. The Thai shrimp imported to the US follows USFDA regulations, but shrimp meant for local buyers follow no regulations at all. Most people won’t have any reactions to it (แพ้อาหาร), but some people can get massively sick. Next, avoid street food (ร้านอาหารข้างถนน) that isn’t cooked on the spot. BBQ meat on a stick foods are typically safe since you buy it right off the grill, just don’t buy it off of someone who seems to have personal hygiene issues. And probably best to avoid buying food in the early morning as it could be leftovers (อาหารเหลือ) that’s been sitting out since the previous day.

Now let’s say you eat some food that isn’t fresh (อาหารไม่สด). You’ll first feel perhaps a bit dizzy (เวียนหัว) or get a stomach ache (ปวดท้อง). You will start to feel sick (in this case, ไม่สบาย). Soon you’ll find yourself vomiting (อาเจียน, or just say อวก for a cruder ‘hurl’). You’ll also get diarrhea (ท้องเสีย). This is when your body attempts to flush out your stomach asap, and may result in dehydration (ขาดน้ำ). You might also feel fairly weak, or หมดแรง.

[image Clean Food, Good Teste]

vocabulary (คำศัพท์):

ร้านอาหาร              restaurant

อาหารสะอาด                       clean food

ร้านอาหารข้างถนน     street food ‘restaurant’ (hawker restaurant)

หาบเร่แผงลอย                     street hawker (sells everything, not just food)

อาหารเหลือ                        leftovers

อาหารไม่สด                        unfresh food

เวียนหัว                            dizzy

อาหารเป็นพิษ                      food that will cause food poisoning

กุ้งไทย                             Thai Shrimp

แพ้อาหาร              food allergy (or allergic to food)

ผมไม่สบาย             I don’t feel well

ท้อง                                stomach

ปวดท้อง               stomach pain

ท้องเสีย                diarrhea

อาเจียน                             vomit (polite form)

อวก                                hurl (vomit, hurl)

ขาดน้ำ                             dehydration

หมดแรง               feeling weak, out of energy

usage example:

I feel weak


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  1. Soi Hok Gao:

    “Many Thai people neither understand food-born illness …”

    Nor, apparently, how to spell it. It’s “foodborne,” not food-born.