Food Poisoning in Sri Lanka

Traveler advisories and reported cases of food poisoning and foodborne illness in Sri Lanka.

Have you fallen ill from food or drink, had food poisoning in Sri Lanka, or know the details of another traveler who has? Please submit information about what was consumed, where, or what others should avoid consuming.

True food poisoning occurs when a person ingests a contaminating chemical or a natural toxin, while most cases of foodborne illness are caused by a variety of foodborne pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food. Such contamination usually arises from improper handling, preparation, or food storage.

Symptoms typically begin several hours to several days after ingestion and can include one or more of the following: nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headache, or fatigue. In most cases the body is able to permanently recover after a short period of acute discomfort and illness. However, foodborne illness can result in permanent health problems or even death, especially in babies, young children, pregnant women (and their fetuses), elderly people, sick people and others with weak immune systems.

It's typically in the best interest of a business to keep their customers healthy, but is there a particular restaurant or market in Sri Lanka that you know of which consistently has problems with health and hygiene? Are there any food or drink items that travelers should exercise extreme caution with while visiting Sri Lanka?

Further reading about foodborne illness

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Roy

May 5th, 2012

I travelled in Sri Lanka in July 2011. I started in Colombo, travelled to Galle (west coast), Tangalla (south coast), then Kandy, and back to Colombo. On the night before heading to Galle I ate a chicken meal in an upmarket Colombo restaurant. At 0800 the next day I cam down with severe cramps, sweating, nausea, dizzy spells, then diarrhoea. On arrival in Galle I spent almost 48 hours in bed in a guest house (with occasional vomiting), with a side visit to the local hospital - diagnosis, food poisoning. I drank lots of water to avoid dehydration, and only got better after about 72 hours. I suspect stomach cramps and intestinal pain suffered between January and April 2012 were linked with this ailment, possibly an intestinal parasite. While I'm not 100% sure, I took some antibiotics I had at home, and after 48 hours the symptoms had gone.

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