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Leading Food Poisoning Lawyer calls on Tour Operators to Introduce Hotel Hand Washing Initiative for Hotel Guests and Restaurant Staff

One of the UK’s leading Overseas Personal Injury Lawyers has called upon travel companies to introduce hand-washing initiatives for their customers and to prevent illness, amid new research from Kansas State University.

Cross contamination happens when hands are not washed when preparing food

The research published in the Food Poisoning Bulletin demonstrates how easily cross contamination happens when hands are not washed when preparing food.

A group 123 people were divided into 3 groups and told to make a fruit salad after preparing a raw meat dish. One third of the participants were given hygiene training, another third were given more basic training and the remaining third were given no training.

The study determined that in 90 per cent of cases the fruit salad had been contaminated.

Professor Randy Phebus, who conducted the study, believed that the major cause of the cross contamination was due to failure to wash their hands effectively with soap or for not long enough. Professor Phebus said of the participants:

“By not washing their hands correctly they spread contamination to hand towels. They then go back to those towels multiple times and recontaminate themselves or the kitchen towels. It ultimately leads to contamination of the food product.”

Paul Stevens, Simpson Millar’s Group Travel Litigation Claims Manager advised, “This study just proves what experts have been saying for years about hand washing before coming into contact with food. Over 90 per cent of the people that contact us had displayed food poisoning type symptoms following their stay at all-inclusive hotels in places like Egypt and Turkey.

Food poisoning buffet at all-inclusive hotels

Cross Contamination

“I would like to see travel companies, whether through ABTA or off their own backs take initiatives to highlight the importance of hand washing before entering hotel buffet restaurants. Quite often people go straight from the swimming pool to the hotel buffet not realising the pool is a soup of microscopic human excrement. Utensils then become breeding grounds for cross contamination of bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli."

“One of the interesting things that this study shows is that that towel you often see in hotel buffets to cover a loaf of bread in order to avoid hand contact is itself a key culprit in spreading infections. Before touching that towel hotel guests and restaurant staff alike ought to have washed their hands for 20 seconds using hot soapy water.”

A guide to safe hand washing can be found on the food safety website.

Simpson Millar LLP has represented thousands of holiday makers that have suffered illness at overseas holiday destinations. Simple measures taken by tour operators could improve guest safety and reduce the amount of food poisoning cases.

If you would like to know more about your holiday rights and how to go about making a claim, you can contact us for a free consultation.

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