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£3,700 damages for Warrington 21 year-old following Cuban holiday Salmonella

Holiday Accident and Illness Claims Specialist Claire Rabbetts

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Dated: 14th July 2015

Compensation has been awarded to a young Cheshire woman who contracted Salmonella while she holidayed in Cuba.

According to Simpson Millar's Claire Rabbetts, our client contracted Salmonella in April 2013 as a result of a breakdown in hygiene standards at the hotel.

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Breakdown in hotel hygiene

She suffered nausea, headaches, severe abdominal cramps and swelling of the gut


Tables not cleaned – and staff didn't check food

When she became unwell, the 21 year-old was on annual vacation with her partner and her parents at the Iberostar Varadero Hotel, booked through the TUI (UK) affiliate, First Choice.

As our client reported, the indoor buffet restaurant in which she and the family took most of their meals looked clean enough.

"But I can't remember seeing anybody cleaning the tables, floors or other surfaces when I was in there," she said. "There was no hand gel for guests to use... the chefs wore aprons and hairnets but the waiters didn't. None of the staff wore gloves."

Although at no time did she see staff checking the temperature of the uncovered food, she doubts the cold dishes were kept properly chilled.

"[The food] was just put out in metal dishes... the [unchilled] salad was left uncovered."

Legal paperwork

Medical Report

Still feeling sick when she got home, "My doctor took a stool sample and I was diagnosed with Salmonella"

Restaurant insects ignored by staff

Food poisoning holiday claim for compensation

"New food was just poured on top of the existing food - the old food wasn't replaced."

Our client also noticed flies around the food. "The insects weren't deterred in any way. And when new food was brought from the kitchen [it was] just poured on top of the existing food - the old food wasn't replaced."

Our client noted that, before she became ill, the family only ate or drank outside the hotel on one occasion. "This was during a safari excursion at a coffee plantation, where the buffet food was piping hot and very well cooked. I couldn't fault it."

Cramps, chills and vomiting

Claire Rabbetts observed that the holidaymaker first began to feel ill on the morning of 30 April, 5 days into the £4,000 holiday.

"Our client suffered from abdominal cramps and felt worse as the day wore on," Claire said. "She began to suffer chills and then vomited. At this stage, feeling terrible, she completely lost her appetite."

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First Choice was responsible

After a damages settlement with TUI (UK) of £3,700

Claire Rabbetts said our client blames First Choice for her Salmonella poisoning.

"The food and hygiene standards were not good enough," Claire said. "It should come as no surprise to First Choice that our client's faith in the hotel, Cuba and the travel firm itself has been badly affected by her unpleasant experience."

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