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Holiday Illness – The Secret Tourist reveals shocking facts

 
 

Were you ill in the Dominican Republic?

The BBC programme The Secret Tourist has revealed the shocking poor hygiene in popular holiday hotels and resorts which can lead to very serious holiday illness. The programme also revealed poor maintenance conditions which could easily lead to a slip or fall on holiday causing injury.

The 1st programme focused on the Fun Royale Tropicale hotel in the Dominican Republic and various locations in the Canary island of Tenerife.

The Dominican Republic hotel is popular as an 'all inclusive' holiday resort. It was here that experts tested water both in hotel rooms and the hotel restaurant, tested food from the restaurant buffet and even took swabs from restaurant chairs which were stained with bird droppings.

The results really were enough to make us all want to stay at home this summer! The Dominican Republic Fun Royale Tropicale tested positive for:

Legionella in the hot water system – so shower water and hot water in the sinks and baths was all dangerous. Legionella can lead to Legionnaires disease which causes severe pneumonia. One in every ten people who contracts Legionnaires will die of the condition. Yet here was a hotel in the Dominican Republic allowing its guests to shower and wash in water infected by Legionella!

The tests moved on to the buffet food – and the results were enough to make anyone lose their appetite. Most holiday illness is caused by food poisoning and buffet food is usually the main culprit. As the programme showed, the food was left out in warm conditions and – the programme suspected – some dishes were 'recycled', with leftover food put out again the following day.

Some of the food contained citrobacter which can cause kidney failure and death, salmonella which leads to serious holiday illness and other bacteria which can cause food poisoning with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Even the water cooler in the restaurant was highly contaminated with enterobacteriacae and citrobacter – again leaving guests at risk of serious holiday illness, in effect food poisoning not even from food!

On that subject, the programme tested the restaurant chairs and tables covered in bird droppings as birds freely flew around the eating area. The tests came back positive for campylobacter which can cause severe holiday illness including abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Even worse, this particular holiday illness can lead to long-term Irritable Bowel Syndrome and reactive arthritis. 50% of birds carry campylobacter, so it was easy for guests to pick up this potentially life-changing holiday illness without touching any food or drink!

We also saw how poor maintenance could easily lead to a serious slip or fall. The Dominican Republic hotel was shown to have a major leak in a bathroom leading to a slippery floor. We all know how dangerous a slip in a bathroom can be – any slip, trip or fall on holiday can lead to broken bones, or worse. The programme even showed an underage girl being served alcohol. Of course this was another test for the programme, but the thought of young people, alcohol and swimming pools is not a nice one. That combination could lead to serious holiday accidents.

If you have a holiday illness caused by campylobacter, salmonella, citrobacter or undetermined food poisoning from your hotel’s buffet or if you have a slip, trip or fall caused by poor maintenance at your hotel, you may be able to claim compensation.

We are holiday compensation claim experts and, unfortunately, The Secret Tourist wasn’t too much of a shock for us. We have known about food poisoning in Dominican Republic hotels for some time, and there have been recent holiday illness outbreaks in most of the popular holiday resorts such as Egypt, Turkey and Tenerife.

We will certainly be watching again to see what other hotels are revealed to be hotbeds for holiday illness.

Freephone: 0808 145 1353 or drop us a line using the form above.

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Dated: 30/07/2010

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