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Holiday Illness Complaint

Holidaymakers at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba report suffering vomiting and diarrhoea

We've received reports of a possible food poisoning problem at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba, where guests say that they witnessed potential hygiene problems and suffered from a gastric illness that lasted for days.

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The Melia Cayo Santa Maria in the Caribbean

The Melia Cayo Santa Maria is advertised by TUI-owned tour operator First Choice as an all-inclusive hotel located in the Cayo Santa Maria region of Cuba, that features a range of facilities, easy access to the beach and 6 restaurants. From recent reviews, it appears that there have been problems at this Caribbean paradise where guests say that they suffered a vomiting and diarrhoea illness.


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Reports of a gastric illness in Cuba

Reviews for the Melia Cayo Santa Maria on sites such as TripAdvisor are generally quite positive, giving the Cuban hotel an average of 4 out of 5. Out of those, there was some who were less favourable, reporting that they suffered a gastric illness during their stay in February.



In her review titled "Stay away", 'Kim S' says that while the Melia Cayo Santa Maria "is very pretty [and has] beautiful grounds", they encountered a number of problems, commenting that the "rooms [were] very dated", but they "had no hot water the entire week and water pressure was nil".

'Kim S' continues to say that "the food is horrible […] at [the] buffet and [at the] à la carte" restaurants, saying that they were "sick on the last day and [having] been back a week" she is still "sick as is [her] husband".


'gonefishin2017' echoes some of these sentiments by saying that they also "did not have any hot water for 6 days out of 7", and that they were subjected to what they described as a "very poor quality and selection of food".

They explain that the catering team at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria "prepared most meats fried in some type of oil on the griddles" where they mixed "raw chicken, beef, and pork together", saying that "every single couple or group [they] met during [their] stay had at least one person sick with [diarrhoea] and stomach pains."

They add that they "also met 4 couples that were there for the 4th consecutive year and each of them [was] upset with issues they had this year with water problems, poor buffet selections, uncooked food issues, sicknesses, and biting ants in their rooms and beds."

'gonefishin2017' goes on to explain that they "have had a stomach issue for 9 days (since [their second day] at the resort) and [his] wife is now [on] day 5 [of the illness]."


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The danger of cross-contamination

Raw meats of different cuts and sizes need to be cooked to differing temperatures, and as diseases such as Salmonella and E. coli O157 can penetrate meat to differing levels, allowing them to mix can result in cross-contamination that could be hazardous to your health.

Cross-contamination could lead to holiday food poisoning

For example; if a holiday illness pathogen such as Salmonella that could have come from raw chicken is spread to a raw piece of beef, as beef isn't cooked as thoroughly as chicken needs to be, if the pathogen permeates the surface it could survive the cooking process. Professional caterers should be aware of the risks that cross-contamination presents, and they should know that it's not a risk that's worth taking.

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Food poisoning can be caused by undercooked meals

We find that reports of uncooked produce are unfortunately common among sick holidaymakers, and this basic kitchen error can be a contributing factor to the spread of food poisoning. Without thoroughly cooking high-risk produce, harmful bacteria and parasites can survive the cooking process and end up on your plate.

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Find out if you can make a claim

If you've become victim to poor hygiene practices or kitchen errors that resulted in a devastating holiday illness that could have been prevented, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.

As part of a complimentary no-obligation consultation, a member of our travel law team can assess your case and advise you of the amount of compensation that you may be able to claim from your tour operator. If you choose us to represent you we can do so on a 'no win no fee' basis.

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Contact us about your holiday illness claim

To find out more about claiming compensation for illness at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba; call us on 0808 145 1353 or complete our enquiry form and we will call you back.

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