hotel water in israel [moved from Kosher]
does anyone else have a problem with the hotel water in israel? are the fresh salads safe?
The water, salads, etc. are safe for consumption. That said, some people have digestive problems on their first few days of drinking water with a very different mineral balance than what they're used to, including many American tourists in Israel.
One of the GREAT things about travel in Israel is that it is NOT one of those countries where you have to avoid the salads and the tap water.
Water there meets all the same standards as water in England, Canada, and other first world countries.
I love that about Israel. Usually, if I'm in a place that feels at all exotic, it means being very careful about brushing my teeth in bottled water and - no salad.
Relax, and enjoy fabulous food. Salad included.
You get shilshul for many reasons. In some countries you get it form the water and, therefore, from raw vegetables. Israel is not one of those countries.
Even in first world countries, you are more likely to get it when traveling away from home, mostly because you are exposed to different things and perhaps don't wash your hands as often.
E coli is a fecal oral transmission route. It can be carried from one to another by flies. Or by human hands that are not properly washed. The hand or the fly touches something, or touches something like your hand, that touches something that goes into your mouth.
The tap water served in hotels in Ein Bokek (at the Dead Sea), whether straight up or in postmix soft drinks, has caused serious tummy upsets for me and my son. I would only buy bottled drinks there -- although the water at Ein Gedi, OTOH, is excellent. At home in Jerusalem, I drink tap water without problems.
Fresh salads are fine if they're really fresh. Sometimes the salads at falafel and shwarma restaurants have been standing a little too long.
We didn't have any problems with water or salads either in restaurants or private homes anywhere in Israel.
I've been living in Jerusalem for almost 4 years - and eating raw vegetables served by street vendors is no cause for any greater concern than raw vegetables served in a hotel beyond general stomach issues caused by traveling.
Depending on where you are located, however - often the tap water will taste funny. I know many people (native and expats) who live in Tel Aviv and strongly prefer bottled water to tap water. But it's more an issue of taste/older pipes rather than any concern over illness.
However, if you're really sensitive, then it might be best to rely on bottled water for drinking - but not to avoid tap water for brushing your teeth or raw vegetables.