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Holiday Illness Complaint

The Hidden Danger of Hotel Carpets

Could Dangerous Infections such as E. coli and Salmonella be hiding in your Hotel Room Carpet?

Every year thousands of holidaymakers suffer from traveller's diarrhoea caused by an infection that is usually associated with Salmonella or E. coli.

Through helping our clients to make a claim against their tour operator, we have found that these types of infections are usually due to negligent hygiene standards, particularly at all-inclusive buffets and in kitchens. New research has been reported in The Mirror that suggests that the usual problem area of resort restaurants may not be the only cause of cross-contamination at resorts, with carpets being an unsuspected culprit.

The Risks Posed by Dirty Carpets

One of the UK's leading authorities on food hygiene and public health, Lisa Ackerley, has explained in The Mirror how the carpets in our homes and at hotels can soon become home to harmful infections such as E. coli:

Hotel room contaminated carpet

"It can be found in human and animal faeces meaning that if pets use the carpets as a toilet, the bacteria can found there", also adding that "just because carpeting looks clean it doesn't mean that it is".

Leave Your Shoes at the Door

Of course this is something that researchers and members of the public have been aware of for some time, and the idea of an infectious carpet is more obvious than you might have thought. Many of you may have a childhood memory of being told to take your shoes off inside, and research at the University of Utah supports this.

Their study found that 90% of the bacteria that is present on your shoes, including E. coli, can be transferred to tiles and carpets indoors.

Our shoes go through a lot throughout the day, and can come into contact with a wide variety of unclean surfaces such as bathroom floors and pavements, all of which can contain less visible traces of animal and human faeces which can be transferred to the soles of our shoes, and subsequently everywhere that we walk in them.

The traditional approach of removing your shoes at the door and leaving them outside may well be the answer, but in public places such as hotels, this isn’t always possible.

Advice on Hotel Carpets and Flooring

Our Group Travel Litigation Claims Manager, Paul Stevens, has expressed his concern over the risks that holidaymakers could be exposed to when entering an unclean room, and has the following to say:

What to do if Hotel Conditions are Poor

If upon arrival at your resort you find that conditions are poor and that your room looks shabby or unclean; don't put up with it. You could be exposing yourself, your family or other members of your holiday party to a wide range of holiday ruining infections.

Make sure that you advise the hotel staff and your tour operator that you're not happy and expect to be moved to a room or resort with better standards of hygiene.

Can you Claim Compensation?

We are currently dealing with a number of holiday compensation claims on behalf of holidaymakers who have suffered illness at hotels. In most cases the cause is due to the negligence of food handlers or those involved in the food supply chain, but it is apparent from this research that there are other causes of cross-contamination at hotels which could render tour operators equally culpable in the event of negligence.

What to do if you Become Unwell

If you have suffered an illness at a resort whilst abroad and want to make a claim against your tour operator, you should gather as much evidence as possible. No matter how insignificant it may feel at the time, photographic evidence of poor hygiene including dirty hotel rooms, birds and cats at open buffets and in resort restaurants, waiters wearing dirty clothes, and undercooked 'pink' chicken, may go a long way to proving a potential claim.

Keep written records of any complaint that you have made so far and seek legal advice if your illness has lasted longer than 3 or 4 days, as there may be grounds for claiming compensation for your loss of holiday enjoyment, as well as for your pain and suffering. If you have begun to make a complaint to your tour operator, it's important to receive legal advice before accepting compensation, as once you have accepted, you may be unable to claim again.

Free Advice on your Illness Claim

Holiday illness complaint - what you need to know

We are currently receiving high levels of holiday illness enquiries from those returning from destinations such as Tenerife, Cuba and Mexico. We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation on your claim, including advice on the best course of action to take.

So if you have become ill at these locations or anywhere else abroad, we would like to hear from you. If you choose us to represent you we can provide you with no win no fee' terms, meaning that you won't have to pay us for your holiday illness claim unless we are successful.

If you want to find out more about your rights and how to make a claim, then get in touch with us today.

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