Ask ML: “How Safe Is It to Eat Cart Food?”
I’ve been visiting NYC for several years now and have always wanted to try some of the food carts. Big reason why I never tried is I’m scared if the food is clean or not. I go to NYC for vacation and don’t want to end up in the hospital for food poisoning or something worse. So my question is how safe is it to eat cart food?
My dear sweet Daphnie. Daphnie Daphnie Daphnie. Have you read a single word on this website? Are you seriously asking me this question, as if the answer would be anything other than “of course it’s safe!” We do an annual event called “Street Meat Palooza” for god’s sake. It’s like asking Joey Chestnut if it’s safe to eat hot dogs, or Amy Winehouse if it’s safe to shoot up heroin. Of course it’s safe… well, for most people.
Listen, when you go on vacation or eat foods you’re not used to eating there is always a danger your body is going to react poorly. I rarely get sick from eating food off of a cart but, then again, my body is a well oiled street meat eating machine. A machine that, believe or not considering all the gross things I eat, would be put out of commission by a single Big Mac. (I try my best to never step foot inside a McDonald’s.) Does that mean McDonald’s is dirty or unsafe? (Ok, maybe that’s a bad example.)
Every vacation I’ve ever taken out of this country was accompanied by some kind of gastrointestinal distress. It’s part of being a hungry traveler. It’s not because the food is dirty… it’s because your stomach isn’t accustomed to the deliciousness. Sweet, dirty, unsafe deliciousness.
I can’t guarantee you won’t get…uh… let’s say “problems” from eating at a street cart in New York City. But if you do, just think of it as your stomach having an “It’s Fun to Try New Things!” party. It’s a chance I think you should take. After all, who doesn’t like a good potty… sorry, I meant party.