- If the waiter is polishing a glass or cutlery with his own breath, complain!
- Avoid yesterday’s lunch, reheated and dressed in a spiced sauce
- Never assume food is safe even when travelling on an all-inclusive package holiday
There are a variety of illnesses that can affect you when travelling abroad. Some illnesses may be induced by travel itself, such as motion and altitude sickness, but these effects are often short lived and normally subside on arrival so hopefully won’t ruin the holiday. However, exposure to unfamiliar infections can result in food poisoning or dysentery – and can mean a ruined holiday.
How safe is the hotel buffet?
Whilst you are inevitably in the hands of your tour operator and its hotel supplier when it comes to hygiene practices, you can still take steps to reduce the risk.
Staying healthy during a holiday is not just a matter of luck, there are precautions you can take and things you can watch out for.
Prevention of Holiday Illness
Holidaymakers travelling abroad should be wary about bacteria and other harmful pathogens likely to cause illness.
- Is it cooked properly?
- Is it hot?
- Does it look like something you had served last night or earlier in the day?
Food, which is not cooked properly or is served at a luke-warm temperature, is likely to harbour bacteria multiplying at a rapid rate. If the bacteria continue to multiply they will soon become dangerous and could lead to a serious outbreak of food poisoning at your hotel.
Simon Lomax, Simpson Millar LLP’s Illness Claims Manager says:
“In most cases, each harmful bacteria of concern to the traveller does not have its own, unique, preventative measure. There is, after all, an unlimited number of ways that the unwary travellers can be exposed to infection.”
“Hotels and tour operators should adopt the same approach to food hygiene as recommended by the World Health Organisation and the Federation of Tour Operators. A common approach to food hygiene provides protection against dysentery in Egypt just as it does against exposure to salmonella food poisoning in Shepherd’s Bush.”
Appetite is a Poor Guide to Safe Food
You should never assume that food is safe even if you are travelling on an all-inclusive package holiday with a reputable tour operator such as Thomas Cook or First Choice. Try to make sure you only eat food that has been freshly and thoroughly cooked – in the case of chicken and other meat, until no red colour remains. Let this advice guide your choice from even from the most tempting buffet.
Satisfy yourself that today’s evening dish is not yesterday’s lunch, reheated and dressed in a spiced sauce. Such delicacies will have received much handling during preparation, and cold platters left out in the open are highly likely to have been contaminated with dangerous levels of bacteria some deposited by flies and other insects.
A common approach to food hygiene provides protection against dysentery in Egypt just as it does against exposure to salmonella food poisoning in Shepherd’s Bush.
If the waiter is polishing a glass or cutlery with his own breath, complain!
Types of Illness Acquired Abroad
Gastrointestinal problems, predominately diarrhoea and stomach cramps, are the major cause of illness among UK travellers abroad. Our historical caseload suggests that salmonella and cryptosporidium are major contributors to compensation claims made by tourists.
These infections result in compensation claims pursuant to the 1992 Package Travel Regulations. The argument is that the package has been improperly performed if the food contains harmful bacteria or that the swimming pool was contaminated with parasites.
Claim under the Package Travel Regulations
As one of the UK’s leading travel law specialist we routinely pursue compensation claims for the victims of food poisoning abroad. If you travelled with a reputable holiday company such as Thomas Cook, Thomson and First Choice. your holiday is likely to be protected by the 1992 Package Travel Regulations.
Call and speak with one of our dedicated travel lawyers for advice on making a claim – we tirelessly pursue claims on a no win no fee basis.