Diarrhea is one of the most common health problems experienced by travellers in Egypt. Many illnesses, including Cholera, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid, are also spread by food and water contaminated with human waste.
Much of Egypt’s surface and ground waters and Alexandria’s coastal area are polluted by raw sewage, unprocessed manure and industrial wastes. Only about 50 percent of the sewage discharged from Cairo is treated. Cairo tap water has exceedingly high lead concentrations. Over 1,000 pollutants (including heavy metals, acids, alkalies and chlorinated compounds) have been found in the Nile River.
Drink only bottled or boiled water.
Pesticides are the major source of food contamination in Egypt, which is the country with the highest pesticide (DDT and lindane) levels in fish. Elevated lead levels are found in vegetables grown in Egypt, caused by contaminated air and irrigation water and proximity of the crops to heavily trafficked roads.
Faseikh is salt-cured mullet that is eaten whole (not eviscerated) and uncooked, and has been associated with botulism food poisoning. Alternative names include moloha, kapchunka, rybetz, ribeyza or rostov. In 1991, nearly 100 people were taken ill and 18 died due to botulism poisoning after eating Faseikh in Egypt.
Eat well-cooked meat and vegetables served hot
Hygiene standards in Egypt often do not meet those of the US or Europe. Uncooked food such as salads and fruit should be avoided unless you can be sure they have been properly washed.