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Illness at First Choice ‘Sharm El Hell’ Red Sea Village Holiday Resort

A BBC Watchdog report detailed multiple illness outbreaks at the Red Sea Holiday Village, Egypt. Simpson Millar LLP represented over 200 claims in 2012, against First Choice for illnesses at the resort. However a year later in 2013, First Choice has failed to prevent further outbreaks of Salmonella and food poisoning.

Reviews suggest that First Choice has not learnt from the hundreds of victims of holiday illness at the Red Sea Village. Reviewers say that First Choice and the hotel are still blaming hot weather for illnesses, when it is poor standards of food hygiene, pool care and general cleanliness that are really causing the problem.

BBC Watchdog findings

In 2012, Simpson Millar were on the TV show BBC Watchdog as an expert in the field of holiday claims, detailing issues with hygiene and food handling that led to 300-400 First Choice holidaymakers contacting Simpson Millar after falling seriously ill.

Holiday sickness

Undercover reporters encountered a stench of sewage at the complex’s entrance and noted just a 20 minute closure of the main swimming pool to treat human faeces contamination. They were also served raw chicken in the hotel restaurant.

First Choice have not acted on complaints a year later

After an outbreak of food poisoning or severe illness, a holiday operator such as First Choice has a responsibility to close down the hotel to guests and carry out investigations and changes, to prevent further guests suffering. This was never done even after the hotel being highlighted for on the BBC Watchdog programme and standards continue to be low.

Despite First Choice being subjected to hundreds of legal claims for compensation for illness at the Red Sea Holiday Village, customers in 2013 are still in contact with Simpson Millar for cases of severe food poisoning.

‘Sharm El Shame’ in May 2013

One couple took to Trip Advisor to warn those thinking of booking the Red Sea Holiday Village with First Choice. They suffered “violent diarrhoea, debilitating stomach cramps and nausea.”

One reviewer spoke of how “15 out of the 24 people that we travelled with became ill at some point. This gravely concerns me. The hotel has obviously still got an underlying health and safety problem and even after the BBC Watchdog report they have still not resolved the problem.”

Frequent ‘code browns’ in swimming pool

Reviewers speak of horrifying hygiene conditions at the hotel, with the swimming pools being of particular concern.

Due to the vast number of First Choice customers at the hotel suffering food poisoning, one reviewer said that in his 14 day stay at the resort early this year, the pools were closed 9 times because of holidaymakers losing control of their bowels.

Despite risk of infection from accidents in the pool, they were opened just 20 minutes later for children and families to swim in.

One review also detailed the pool water being used to clean tables.

Children falling seriously ill at the hotel

Holiday Hotel Watch

The outbreak of illness at the hotel has caused a number of young children to fall dangerously ill. One reviewer speaks of her daughter having to be put on a drip in hospital, whilst a father says his “poor 11 year old son contracted Salmonella whilst there and had to endure a hideous 5 and half hour flight home with severe sickness and diarrhoea and was ill for 2 weeks after.”

The father was horrified at the experience his son endured and says that “First Choice should not be taking bookings for this place and should never have allowed us to go there knowing how disgusting it is.”

Mother of 3 wheel-chaired to hospital

A mother of 3 truly experienced ‘Sharm El Hell’ with her First Choice Holiday to the Red Sea Holiday Village.

She became very ill on the 3rd day of her holiday experiencing severe tummy cramps, sickness and was unable to move from the toilet. She then began to faint and so was taken in a wheel chair to the doctor.

She says: “I was very scared as I was put on 3 drips. I was given 10 injections and was in the clinic for 4 hours on the drip at all times. I kept fainting and when I came round I found myself on the drip again.”

Simpson Millar would suggest that any person who suffered at the resort contact one of our Holiday Claims Experts to see if you are entitle to any compensation.


Dated: 07/06/2013

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