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The Psychological Impact Of Holiday Food Poisoning

Of the diverse concoction of hazards to which UK families are exposed abroad, a severe case of holiday food poisoning can be dangerous and may cause several long term effects upon the mental health and well-being of holidaymakers.

Fortunately, the majority of health problems in travellers caused by the consumption of contaminated food tend to be relatively minor. Whilst a problem need not be serious, a holiday illness may have a devastating effect upon the enjoyment of your trip.

Suffering the consequences of food poisoning on holiday

Food Poisoning Compensation Claims

It is inevitable that a bout of diarrhoea will spoil your well-earned holiday, but what can you do about it?

Unfortunately, health problems and food poisoning on holidays are common, the risks are not decreasing, and we are all susceptible. So why should a tour operator pay compensation for your disappointment?

Holidaymakers are generally entitled to claim compensation that will put them in the position they would have been in had the contract been performed correctly. In food poisoning claims compensation can usually be divided into two broad categories:

  • Financial losses, i.e. losses that can be arithmetically calculated; and
  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity for personal injury and for loss of enjoyment.

Food Poisoning On Holiday and Travellers' Diarrhoea

Staying healthy abroad is not a question of luck, and indeed it is far too important for your tour operator to leave it to chance.

Exposure to infective and harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E.coli and campylobacter in food is a common and known cause of severe travellers' diarrhoea which is preventable.

If you travel on a regulated package holiday the company who sold you the holiday can be held accountable for your illness including psychological symptoms which often impact on the quality of life.

Simon Lomax, Simpson Millar LLP's Holiday Illness Claims Manager says:

"In most contract cases, compensation for mental distress, anxiety, annoyance and disappointment could not be claimed. However, given the primary objective of a holiday is to provide enjoyment, compensation can be recovered for its loss, especially if your stay abroad is marred by disappointment.

"Aside from a loss of enjoyment, victims of food poisoning often go on to develop secondary conditions such as irritable bowel and various psychological issues."

Added Complications

For most victims of food poisoning, a complete recovery is achieved with the elimination of the harmful organism. Most travellers will recover quickly and completely, but up to 33% of its victims go on to develop complications from a post infective irritable bowel. The cause is unclear but the symptoms can last for months or years following infection.

No Win No Fee Holiday Claims Solicitors

Infection from salmonella, E.coli, and post infective irritable bowel itself can also have a psychological impact on the quality of your life. A bad experience abroad can lead to anxiety attacks; adjustment disorders; needle phobias; depression; and even post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) in severe cases.

All our travel lawyers have considerable experience in dealing with food poisoning claims for compensation by those affected by illness abroad. Over the years we have tirelessly and successfully pursued justice for holidaymakers.

Our intention is to ensure you are fully compensated for experience abroad. You have three years to bring a personal injury claim for compensation in the UK. Don’t delay, if you would like to speak to an experienced food poisoning lawyer call 0808 145 1353 or email

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