What We Can Help You With
We act for lots of people who have been injured in foreign accidents or who have suffered food poisoning whilst abroad on holiday. It’s one of our main areas of expertise.
Food poisoning is the main cause of illness abroad, particularly when staying at all-inclusive hotels. These hotels are often under lots of pressure to provide enough food for a very large number of guests. When you consider that they are often catering for hundreds or even thousands of guests for all of their meals, snacks and drinks for 7 – 14 days, you can see how standards can start to slip. Problems can arise when food is served too quickly and is under-cooked; or hot food can be kept warm in serving bays for overly long periods of time; or cold foods are sometimes left out in the heat without refrigeration. Many of us see examples like this when we are on holiday and when food hygiene procedures are not managed properly food poisoning can result.
The hotel or tour operator will often claim that your illness is ‘Traveler’s tummy’; or they might claim it is because you handled the local money. In truth the most common cause of gastric illness is bacteria in your food which subsequently infects your digestive system and causes you to have food poisoning.
There are numerous ways in which harmful bacteria can get into the hotel food. Some examples are: Where cooked foods come into contact with uncooked foods; or hotel staff touch food without washing their hands; or flies or birds may carry bacteria – Or unsanitary local water has been used to make the ice in your drinks. Once harmful bacteria has infected the food the unsafe food hygiene practices described above can cause the bacteria to multiply massively, leading to illness. So, please do not let the holiday company take advantage of you; you should get your claim checked out. Food poisoning is a very serious issue which can lead to serious after effects such as long term IBS, or permanent sensitivity to certain foods. At the very least it will ruin your holiday, so it should not be dismissed as a normal or accepted risk of travelling abroad.
Hopefully you can now see that large hotels offering all-inclusive deals need to be extra careful in the hygienic preparation and management of food. When they’re not, people can get very ill, very quickly. The most common forms of food poisoning which can result from poor food hygiene procedures are as follows:
- Salmonella: Usually from under-cooked poultry, milk or eggs; or cross contamination.
- Campylobacter: Usually from poor personal or food hygiene and can be transmitted by hand or by insects.
- Norovirus: Usually caused by poor hygiene and hand contact; causes projectile vomiting.
- E Coli: Associated with under-cooked meats, cross contamination from other foods or contaminated water.
- Cryptosporidium: This may be carried in infected water, or by contact with infected faeces.
In summary, food poisoning must not be treated lightly, and any hotels which cause food poisoning should be forced to introduce better and safer food hygiene practices. Bringing a genuine claim will lead to substantial compensation, but just as importantly it will force the hotel to change any defective food hygiene procedures and you will be helping to protect other holidaymakers who use the hotel in the future.