No Ice, Please

Food and water precautions are a frequent topic of conversation in travel clinics. There are so many places in the world where you simply can’t drink the water. And that means no ice, either. So what do you do when you forget to tell someone no ice and you are brought a drink with ice in it? You call the waiter over and ask for one with no ice. He walks away and returns with a glass with your beverage and no ice. But what happened?

Did the waiter remove the ice with his hands? Once the ice was removed, did fill the glass with more of the drink? Maybe, he poured out the drink and filled the same glass with a new drink. Or, maybe he got a new glass with a fresh drink. Problem is, you don’t know. So, what do you do?

If I get a drink with ice, I send it back and say I changed my mind and order a beverage that is carbonated in the bottle or order something that has been boiled, such as hot tea or coffee. You could ask for a bottle of water and ask to open the bottle yourself but you can’t be sure that it has been processed with sanitary water under sanitary conditions or hasn’t been tampered with.

The alcohol in alcoholic beverages will not kill bacteria lurking in ice cubes. But, you could order beer or wine.


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