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Food in China varies widely from region to region so the term "Chinese food" is pretty much a blanket term, just like "Western food." While visiting, relax your inhibitions and try a bit of everything.
Do keep in mind that undercooked food or poor hygiene can cause bacterial or parasitic infection, particularly during warm or hot weather. Thus it is advisable to take great care about (and perhaps abstain from) eating seafood and meat on the street during the summer. In addition, unless you're in Hong Kong, raw meat and seafood should always be avoided. That being said,
Chinese gourmands place emphasis on freshness so your meal will most likely be cooked as soon as you order it. Searing hot woks over coal or gas fires make even street food usually safe to eat.
The two-menu systems where different menus are presented according to the skin color of a guest remain largely unheard of in China. Most restaurants only have one menu - the Chinese one. Learning some Chinese characters such as beef (牛), chicken (鸡), fried (炒), soup (汤), rice (饭) will take you a long way.
Certain Chinese dishes contain ingredients some people may prefer to avoid, such as dog, snake or endangered species. However, it is very unlikely that you will order these dishes by a mistake. Dog and snake are usually served in a specialty restaurants which do not hide their ingredients.
Generally speaking, rice is the main staple in the south, while wheat, mostly in the form of noodles, is the main staple in the north.