A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 07, 2015
“Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it”

"Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it” is a popular line to avoid travelers’ diarrhea from foods and drinks. The New Zealand Department of Health produced the booklet “Guidelines To Health For International Travelers” in 1972, and advised, “It has been said in these circumstances, if you can’t cook it or peel it, forget it!”

“The best prevention is the Peace Corps advice: ‘Boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it’” was cited in a 1985 newspaper. “A rule of thumb in less developed countries is to follow the Peace Corps motto: If you can’t peel it, cook it or boil it, forget it” was cited in a 1986 newspaper. Some medical studies, however, question the truth of the adage.


4 June 1972, Brownsville (TX) Herald, “Guidelines To Health For International Travelers” by Michael J. Dennigan (UPI), pg. 8-A, cols. 7-8:
“Take great care in eating and drinking elsewhere. Do not buy anything except bottled drinks from street stands. Avoid cold meat, salad vegetables, salad creams, cream and other uncooked food in restaurants. It has been said in these circumstances, if you can’t cook it or peel it, forget it!”
(An eight-page booklet from the New Zealand Department of Health.—ed.)

Google Books
The Trekker’s Guide to the Himalaya and Karakoram
By Hugh Swift
San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books
1982
Pg. 290:
The best rule of thumb for avoiding the fecal-oral contamination cycle is: peel it, boil it, or forget it.

OCLC WorldCat record
‘Boil it Cook it, Peel it or Forget it’: Does this Rule Prevent Travellers‘ Diarrhoea?
Author: KOZICKI MARKUS; STEFFEN ROBERT; SCHÄR MEINRAD
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: International Journal of Epidemiology, v14 n1 (1985): 169-172
Database: CrossRef
Other Databases: MEDLINE

22 April 1985, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Consumer briefs,” pg. 1C, col. 5:
Travelers’ diarrhea usually occurs within the first 10 days of travel and lasts an average of 96 hours. The best prevention is the Peace Corps advice: “Boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it.”

6 July 1985, New Castle (PA) News, “Plan ahead for travels,” pg. 8, col. 2:
To prevent the problem, follow this rule: If you can’t peel it, boil it or cook it, forget it.

17 March 1986, Clovis (NM) News-Journal, “List compiled for those planning a trip includes tips on travel, weather, food” (AP), pg. 8, col. 5:
“A rule of thumb in less developed countries,” Lundberg says, “is to follow the Peace Corps motto: If you can’t peel it, cook it or boil it, forget it.”
(Donald Lundberg, director of Hspitality Management at the United States International University in San Diego, CA.—ed.)

OCLC WorldCat record
Peel it, boil it, cook it or forget it!
Author: S A.
Edition/Format: Article Article : German
Publication: Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung, v152 n12 (2012 03 22): 102-104

Twitter
Royal Dutch Airlines
‏@KLM
“Boil it, cook it, peel it… or forget it!” How to avoid food poisoning: #KLMblog http://klmf.ly/1HIHFN7
9:00 PM - 5 Aug 2015

NPR
Can You Protect Your Tummy From Traveler’s Diarrhea?
AUGUST 06, 201510:03 PM ET
MICHAELEEN DOUCLEFF
(...)
Many travelers swear by the old saying “boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it.”

But scientific studies don’t really back it up. One meta-analysis of seven studies didn’t find a connection between getting bacterial diarrhea and eating raw vegetables or unpeeled fruits. But it did find a link between illness and foods that sat around at room temperature for a while.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, August 07, 2015 • Permalink