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Holiday Illness Complaint

Holidaymakers report suffering debilitating sickness and diarrhoea at the Riu Palace Cabo Verde in Cape Verde

2nd November 2017


We've been contacted by holidaymakers who say that they were subjected to concerning hygiene standards during their stay at the Riu Palace Cabo Verde, where they say that they suffered from severe food poisoning symptoms that left them unable to enjoy their holiday in Cape Verde.


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The Riu Palace Cabo Verde in Sal

Advertised by First Choice and TUI on an all-inclusive basis, the Riu Palace Cabo Verde is situated on the beach of the popular Sal region in Cape Verde. The resort has a lot to offer holidaymakers, however recent reports have highlighted potential hygiene issues.


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Holidaymaker hospitalised by illness reports hygiene issues

The holidaymaker who contacted us advised us that during their stay they suffered food poisoning symptoms, including watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting, headaches and other aches, lethargy and sweating. As a result of their symptoms, they informed us that a member of their holiday party was hospitalised.

They say that they encountered a number of hygiene concerns, commenting that they were served food such as meat and chicken that wasn't cooked through, and that they didn't feel that food was being kept at a safe temperature once it had been cooked.

Other hygiene issues that they highlighted included food handlers not wearing gloves or hair nets, flies landing on food, buffet meals being left out for long periods of time, and the possibility that uneaten food was being recycled between meals.

They say that they weren't the only ones affected by holiday illness, as during their stay they spoke to other guests who had also become unwell.

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Reviewers comment on health concerns

Reviewers on TripAdvisor have also commented on problems that they encountered during their stay, including the following holidaymakers who stayed at the Riu Palace Cabo Verde this October.

'julyann_10' from London wrote a review titled "RIU palce [sic]" in which she has many positive things to say about the Riu Palace Cabo Verde, however she does say that she "was ill" for the "last 4 days of [her] holiday".

In the review of her holiday with her boyfriend titled "Lovey holiday", 'Hannah E' says that on "the morning of [their] checkout [she] came down with awful stomach cramps, sickness, diarrhoea, despite […] being careful with food/water/hand [sanitizer] etc".

She goes on to say that they weren't able to get a "late checkout despite [her] boyfriend going to reception [in the] early morning and telling [the hotel staff that she] was sick", meaning that they had to spend time "in the lobby waiting for [their] transfer whilst sick".

York holidaymaker 'Scamperoo123' wrote a review titled "Feeling ill right now" in which they say that a meal they had resulted in sickness and "diarrhoea", explaining that they were the "only one out of [their group of] 5 […] who was ill".

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Online Reputation Manager responds to reviewer

The Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Cabo Verde responded to 'Scamperoo123's review, and below you'll find some excerpts from their response:

"We regret to read that you become ill and hope you get well very soon. We can assure you that for RIU, hygiene and quality control are taken seriously; we follow strict procedures while handling our food products in order to prevent and avoid any kind of alimentary risks or hazards.

We encourage guests that are still at the hotel to contact our Front Desk staff in order to resolve any issues whilst still at the hotel. They will be more than happy to assist you and make your stay as pleasant as possible."

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How to deal with hygiene issues at your hotel

It's vital that food served at an all-inclusive hotel is cooked to and kept at a safe temperature, including high-risk produce such as chicken and beef burgers. If this type of produce is served pink in the middle or is allowed to cool to a dangerous temperature, you could risk consuming a harmful strain of bacteria or parasite. Recycling food can pose a similar risk, as allowing food to cool and then reheating it can create ideal conditions for bacteria to breed.

Flies at an uncovered buffet can also pose a health risk, as they are known to transfer faecal matter by landing on food. By doing so, they can also transfer hazardous pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter that could leave you spending more time in your hotel bathroom than by the pool.

Flies can be a health hazard on holiday

If you encounter any of these hygiene issues on a package holiday, we recommend informing your holiday rep or hotelier of your concerns, possibly taking pictures or recording video to back up your claims if you have a smartphone or camera available. If you do get sick, we recommend receiving legal advice from a travel law specialist.

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You might be entitled to compensation

If you suffer food poisoning on an all-inclusive package holiday that could have been prevented by better hygiene standards, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you could be entitled to compensation from your tour operator. We can advise you of your rights and eligibility during a free no-obligation consultation. If you instruct our travel law specialists represent you, we can do so on a 'no win no fee' basis.

Alice Hellewell - Paralegal, Holiday Claims

Contact us for free no-obligation holiday illness claims advice

To find out more about claiming compensation; contact Alice Hellewell by filling in our enquiry form and we will call you back, or call us directly on 0808 145 1353.

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