Holiday Claims
 Call Us: 0808 145 1353
Holiday Illness Complaints

The Risks Associated with Illness and Holiday Food Poisoning

It is relatively easy to apply good food hygiene practices when cooking at home where there is a supply of potable water and modern appliances such as cookers, microwaves and dishwashers. It is not as simple to control and maintain good hygiene when travelling because you are relying on others to implement and adhere to safe cooking practices to prevent illness.

Food Poisoning Abroad

Travellers to parts of Europe, Turkey, Egypt and the Caribbean accept as inevitable that they will experience gastroenteritis and pack rehydration sachets, Imodium and other anti-diarrhoea medication in their luggage.

Gastric illness not only follows meals eaten on cruises, in hotel restaurants and all inclusive holiday villages, but from drinking water which has not been chlorinated. The pattern of illness will include:

  • Profuse and watery diarrhoea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever – hot and cold sweats
  • Headaches
  • Occasional vomiting

'Holiday-tummy' is said to be due to a change of food, overindulgence, overeating, heat, rapid change of temperature, and iced drinks.

Bacterial Infections and Parasites

Unfortunately, the facilities for testing the cause of illness are rarely available abroad. Bacterial laboratory tests are not carried out routinely, even in some of the largest holiday destinations. As a traveller in a foreign destination you often accept your predicament, knowing that the medication bought from the chemist will resolve your symptoms without taking time to identify the cause.

It is however our experience that the vast majority of holiday illnesses are due to food poisoning, typically salmonella, e.coli, and campylobacter.

Whose Fault it is and can I Claim Compensation?

With this in mind, why should your holiday company be accountable?

The principles underlying the provision of safe food are the same whatever country one chooses to visit. Hot countries will have greater difficulties because refrigeration is essential to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Certain foods may expose travellers to special hazards. For example, serving sushi could expose holidaymakers to the risk of bacterial infection, including salmonella.

Many illnesses overseas caused by infected water and food can be prevented by simple precautions. Your tour operator should ensure that the hotel implements strict food safety procedures to reduce the risk of contamination and mass illness outbreaks.

If your hotel fails in these procedures then you may be able to claim compensation pursuant to the 1992 Package Travel Regulations or via other consumer protection regulations.

Is There Anything I can do to Prevent my Holiday Being Spoilt?

Contaminated food often looks and tastes the same, but holidaymakers can take basic steps to reduce the risk of exposure to bacteria. Travellers are advised to use bottled water, avoid ice and risky foods (curried foods, shellfish, meatballs), and always eat from a reputable restaurant that serves freshly cooked food.

If your food is not cooked properly or looks reheated don’t eat it.

Remember when crowds in holiday countries are fed quickly, and temperatures are soaring, the hazards of food poisoning are amplified. Always eat in busy restaurants and with the locals when choosing where to eat.

Use your E-mail for Advice

If you have been ill abroad on a package holiday you may have easy access to free Wi-Fi – why not contact us whilst you are on holiday for advice and assistance.

Get in touch for a chat about how we can help you by filling in our quick, no obligation enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on 0808 145 1353.

© 2014