The Canary Islands are home to some of the most popular destinations in Spain, with many large resorts and hotels located on Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, as well as La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. The Canaries are experiencing a boom in popularity at the moment, as more British tourists are flocking to the Spanish islands, but if these resorts don't keep their facilities well maintained and ensure that hygiene is a top priority; package holiday goers might end up with a nightmare holiday.
The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Morocco and as a tourist hotspot feature a warm but not stifling climate that makes its stunning beaches a very attractive option for those looking for a fun filled package holiday.
One of the common problems that can cause illness in a crowded resort at any of the Canary Islands is poor hygiene and food poisoning. Unlike obvious signs of unsafe areas where things like broken tiles haven't been fixed or wet floor signs not erected soon after cleaning; poorly prepared or stored food can be hard to spot, but there are a few things to look out for:
Undercooked meat – It might seem like an obvious point to make, but if meat is not cooked properly it can result in the spread of a holiday ruining infectious bacteria. It's always worth checking your meat before you eat it, for instance if your chicken is still pink in parts then it's unsafe to eat as there's a risk of contracting Salmonella.
Buffet food temperature – Buffets make it quick and easy to have a meal at your resort, however if they're not properly monitored they can cause infection to spread. Most hot food that is allowed to dip below 60°C is considered to be at risk, and this is true of cold foods such as ice cream which pose a risk of infection if their temperature reaches above 5°C. If you notice that your food at a buffet is close to room temperature rather than hot or cold, it's best to advise to the staff at your resort, as well as your tour operator.
Dirty utensils, surfaces, cups and plates – If you notice that the serving utensils, cups, plates, tables and surfaces at your resort restaurant, be sure to make the staff at your resort in the Canary Islands aware, and notify your tour operator of the problem.
Drinking water – Tap water in the Canary Islands is considered safe to drink by the locals, but it's important to be aware that there has been known to be problems with E-coli in the water supply, as well as a differing mix of minerals that can make cause some unaccustomed tourists to feel unwell. It's generally better to stick to sealed bottled water rather than drinking from fountains or jugs of water, and avoid ice cubes in drinks.
Swimming Pools in the Canary Islands – Swimming pools can be an ideal environment for infection to breed and spread. Your resort in the Canaries should use disinfectant as part of their cleaning process, meaning that you should be able to smell the distinct scent of chlorine in the pool water at your resort. If chlorine isn’t present in the pool at your resort then infection caused by contaminated faeces can spread. Notify your resort and tour operator if you feel that the pool isn't safe, and as a general rule it's best to make sure that you shower before and immediately after you swim to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading infection.
Some of the harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning include:
An accident on holiday is something we would all like to avoid, but can be caused by a wide variety of issues at your resort. These are usually due to a lack of safety processes or maintenance at your hotel. We find that some of the more common accidents at hotels and resorts in the Canary Islands include the following:
Trips on stairs – The stairs at resorts in the Canary Islands can become unsafe for British tourists, usually due to a lack of maintenance or soon after wet-mopping, resulting in a slip or fall that can ruin your holiday.
Unsafe balconies – A hotel balcony can be great for taking in the stunning views of the Canary Islands, however if not properly installed and maintained, it can become a safety hazard. Some balcony accidents can cause severe injuries that take months to recover from, making returning to work after your holiday a problem.
Glass doors – In the UK the majority of glass doors are made from toughened or safety glass, but this isn't always the case at resorts in the Canaries. An accident such as a trip or fall near weaker glass can result in a horrific holiday injury.
Swimming pool accidents – Swimming pools should be a fun place for you and your family to let off some steam, but safety concerns such as cracked tiles and slippery surfaces issues can lead to a slip and fall that results in a holiday injury
Bathroom slips – In the UK you might have a mat to prevent a dangerous slip in your own bathroom, but if one is missing from your hotel bathroom, you could be at risk from a nasty fall. If you're not provided with a mat to prevent a slip and you do have an accident; you may be eligible for compensation.
If you've been on a package holiday to any of the Canary Islands and became ill due to food poisoning from eating at your resort, or if you suffered an injury as a result of an accident that wasn't your fault; you may be entitled to make a claim under The Package Travel Regulations 1992. It only takes a few minutes to find out if you're able to make a claim, and all you need to do is follow these simple steps.
Most claims follow these straightforward steps, and the best thing that you can do to ensure that your case is completed swiftly and smoothly is to ensure that you keep a clear record of what went wrong on your holiday in the Canary Islands.
To find out if you can make a claim for an illness or accident at the Canary Islands or any other package holiday destination, contact our Travel Law Specialists for advice. You can easily contact us by completing our online enquiry form and we will call you back.