Food on train safe? - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com

Food on train safe?

#1 Aug 4th, 2010, 23:21
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#1
read that we need to be very careful when eating in india.. especially i have a pretty weak stomach..

can we eat stuff purchased off the train pantry, or we need to stock up on food before we board? or what is the usual practice of foreigners taking long haul trains?

will be taking the train from bangalore to agra. about 35hours..
#2 Aug 4th, 2010, 23:27
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I don't really know if the food is safe or not but I always eat anything I can purchase on the trains. I just like all these different things. Yummie. Also the food you can get on the platforms during stops seems ok to me.

I've never been sick.
#3 Aug 5th, 2010, 04:25
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#3
I've only taken a couple long haul trains, always found the food safe to eat, but always took extra food with me just in case. Even a package of cookies can come in handy if you're stuck on a train longer than expected.
#4 Aug 5th, 2010, 04:31
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#4
Bananas are always a good backup food.
#5 Aug 5th, 2010, 07:23
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I've always approached train food with a certain trepidation which needs to be balanced against the fact that we're not in India all the time and so we don't get to try the train food much. It's all a bit of a problem!
So far so good, the food has always been nice and we have had no... err... 'internal' problems.
I guess that there is always that thought in the back of your mind which says 'Fingers crossed, I hope the cook washed his hands'!
#6 Aug 5th, 2010, 07:37
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You can't go too far astray with vegan, unpeeled fruit & bottled mineral water. Stay away from the milk based sweets(barfi etc) if you have a weak tummie, they often have a much higher than normal bacteria count.
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#7 Aug 5th, 2010, 08:52
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Depends if the pantry car is on the train or food is picked up from stations. I got very sick once from a barely warm samosa (no pantry car on train) and since then avoided eating any train food. However the Shatabdi back to Dehradun from Delhi does have a pantry car and the breakfast I ate was excellent! I would say use common sense - if you know your food is coming fresh off the cooker, in the pantry car, then no problem.
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#8 Aug 5th, 2010, 09:02
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i guess the best options would be to keep a stock of fresh fruits + a pack of biscuits or bread with its associated ancillaries while you are traveling - safe and healthy. however, if the train has a pantry car then the food should be decent enough.
#9 Aug 5th, 2010, 09:22
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#9
I usually buy something beforehand for my first meal, plus take enough water for the trip and a selection of fruit and biscuits. If what's on offer during the trip looks good, I get some. I've also found that Indian families on the trains will insist on sharing with you. And if you happen to sit next to a dozen guys on a school reunion going to Hampi, look out.
#10 Aug 5th, 2010, 09:27
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I, too, never get on a train without cookies, bananas, an extra bottle of water, and usually a few hard-boiled eggs.

Some trains have very good food, some do not. (The Rajdhani food is quite good). Some stations have specialties -- there's a file with a list of these somewhere on IndiaMike. But if the train gets delayed, you will want to have some food with you.

Don't forget to wash your hands before eating.
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#11 Aug 5th, 2010, 09:36
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I never had any problems with the food on trains, but i normally take only vegetarian food on trains to be on safe side.Carry some fruit or snacks.
#12 Aug 5th, 2010, 10:30
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#12
Look through the pantry car window and make up your own mind.
One look will be enough.
#13 Aug 5th, 2010, 10:30
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#13
It is perhaps safer to take foods prepared in the pantry car (if there is one) than to buy food sold on platforms. The latter can be unsafe indeed. It could quite often be stale. The sellers know they can get away with selling such food to unsuspecting travelers they're not going to see ever again.

This is not to say that the food served by the railway people (irctc) are good quality and always safe. Recently in one of the high profile Duronto trains cockroach was found in the food served! The food was stale too. It was reported duly in the newspapers. This is how the Indian Railway minister responded to the news (paraphrased):

"They must have brought cockroaches from home to tarnish my image! ... Can you tell me where you don't find cockroaches. My own rooms, even the kitchen, are infested. Only the other day a scorpion was tickling my foot. What does one do? Go to the five star hotels. Live in palaces. Eat curries made with diamonds, gold, pearls ..."!

Numerous complaints over the years against the irctc food in trains made the Railways wake up, and decide to bring the catering service directly under its own control. The only problem is, the same irctc staff are supposed to be transferred to the relevant railways department to take care of the service!

Better stay prepared with fruits and packaged biscuits and such from reputable companies.
#14 Aug 5th, 2010, 10:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suricate View Post It is perhaps safer to take foods prepared in the pantry car (if there is one) than to buy food sold on platforms.
If there is a pantry car, are all foods guaranteed to be prepared there? Or is it possible that some are still catered to the train,,,, such as the milk base desserts etc, etc, etc,?
#15 Aug 5th, 2010, 10:59
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#15
No all foods are not guaranteed to be prepared there. Usually the hot/warm foods are likely prepared there. Even if the foods are sourced from outside, irctc is supposed to be responsible if they serve those themselves, but it's anybody's guess if that means much.

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