street food Not recommended.

IMSS doctor warns against street food

Medical problems are common due to improper food preparation and handling

Eating street food can be bad for your health, warns a doctor at the Guerrero office of the Social Security Institute, or IMSS.


Catarino Antonio Camero Herrera said food prepared under dubious circumstances can lead to bacteria, parasites and viruses that can cause stomach disorder, abdominal colic, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever and dehydration.

More susceptible are children under six and seniors but such gastrointestinal ailments are not uncommon among other age groups, the doctor said.

Clinics can see as many as five people a day suffering from any one of several such ailments such as salmonella or gastroenteritis.

The transmission of parasites can take place where people who are serving the food are also taking the money and not washing their hands, he said.

Eating street food, said Camero, is not recommended, and not just during the summer months of warmer temperatures.

He suggested people take the time to prepare their food in the home.

Source: Pueblo Guerrero (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • Happygirl

    What the article doesn’t tell you is that you are more likely to get sick at home or in the homes of friends and family than anywhere else. Food safety should be taught in every school. Having said that we (my husband and I) take Dukoral a drinkable vaccine that protects against Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) or as most call it “e-coli” and have ever since it was made available many years ago. We swear by it and recommend it to all our friends. Look it up. This type of e-coli is present in Mexico. Be careful where you eat even the fanciest restaurants can make you sick. We don’t eat street food and practice food safety in our home and haven’t been sick (food borne) in years…knock on wood.

    • Foxy

      That’s highly unlikely – unrefrigerated is simply not safe and especially if it’s a pork product. How clean are the street vendors. Any chance they might transfer fecal material from unwashed hands and you could have a tapeworm problem.

      • Peter Maiz


  • K. Chris C.

    Told my wife about 5 years ago that the Mexican government would get around to “regulating” street food vendors for the benefit of large restaurant interests. That they would use the excuse of health too. She’s going to %*!@ when she sees this.

    Of course, I like how health issues related to the government water system are not mentioned. Or the how dependent Bonafont, Pepsi, CocaCola are the government continuing to provide unsafe water.

    Always about money and power.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • SakeDad

    Poorly prepared food ANYWHERE, including your own kitchen, can make people sick. This article is POOR on facts but can hurt the wonderful (and HEALTHY!) street vendors all over with NO evidence or proof!! SHAME ON THE WRITER AND EDITOR!

  • Jumex

    Just because someone has walls around the food cooking area does not make it “safe” or better then food in the open.

    I have a few things I look for in “street food”

    1- Where you buy it. Do not buy food next to trash, sewage or an other wise unclean place.
    2- Look at the person. If the person cannot wash their hands, clothes, cooking cart, etc and= your food is not going to be clean.
    3- Usually good food is very popular which mean food stays fresh and others are not getting sick. Good food sells itself, when vendors have to yell and shout and be aggressive to sell food, be suspicious.

    • Sharon

      Good advice – We were just in Alamos – ate from 3 different vendors – not sick. They were all clean, had masks/hair covered, and wore gloves. We know friends who have fallen ill after eating in clean, well kept restaurants, so you can get sick anywhere. Stay away from fresh and also cooked onions, they absorb bacteria, make sure the food is well cooked. You nose is your best guide – if it smells bad – don’t go there.

  • Donald Godier

    This is simply not the case, I spent more than 20 years in the restaurant business in the U.S. and even worked on a health department panel reviewing proper food handling techniques. It’s been my experience in my last 4 years here in Mexico that I have gotten sick more often from restaurants with walls where I cannot see the food prep than from the street vendors where I see the food and can watch it being prepared. In my humble opinion I believe this is a politician carrying water for the large restaurants who can throw money his way to project a false narrative. The most charming thing about here in Mexico is the street vendors and the variety of food stuffs here. If you wish to live in a country that controls every aspect of your life then you should probably live in the U.S. where you can’t cross a street without permission and where opening a restaurant is a painstaking process costing thousands or even millions of dollars to accomplish!

  • Peter Maiz

    Do not eat street food. The vendors would not comprehend bacteria, anyway.