Thousands of holidaymakers each year suffer from food poisoning as a result of food hygiene standards whilst they are on holiday, often losing out on experiences, memories and of course losing large sums of money that took a long time to save.
Most recently, the national press has highlighted horror stories of people being ill for weeks after returning to the UK which has on occasion resulted in them taking time off work, school or even having been admitted to hospital for further treatment.
For many years people have been led to believe that sickness on holiday termed in many cases as ‘deli belly’ is blamed on a change in climate; this is not always the case with many people falling ill owing to poor hygiene. In these cases, you may be able to claim for compensation.
Despite the advertised pictures and stringent quality criteria many of the well known holiday companies have had reviews, complaints and television coverage of horror stories where people have paid significant sums for a quality holiday only to discover dirty accommodation and poor food hygiene. A short search on tripadvisor shows that the advertised quality standards are not consistent.
For some, saving money for a holiday can take years. Sun, sea and sand can quickly be ruined by hotels cutting corners on standards of hygiene. It has been widely reported that in some hotels overseen by holiday providers some end up in bed with gastric illness as a result of food poisoning.
According to the NHS, campylobacter bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning, and are usually found on raw or under-cooked meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water.
The cost of campylobacteriosis to public health systems and to lost productivity in the EU is estimated by EFSA to be around EUR 2.4 billion a year. That is in addition to the thousands if not millions of ruined holidays. The EFSA also estimates that up to 9 million people contract campylobacteriosis each year, although only a fraction of those cases are reported and treated.
Tour operators have a duty of care to their customers to ensure that the hotels (their suppliers) are compliant with international food safety standards and general hygiene procedures. Despite this duty of care, problems still dog the holiday companies.
The Daily Mail reported a case was brought against Thomas Cook where a holidaymaker believed they had contracted food poisoning whilst on holiday. Helen Witts, spent two weeks in Bulgaria and contracted campylobacteriosis on the last day. This resulted in being off work for more than 8 weeks. This sickness had a massive impact on Helen’s life for which Thomas Cook had to take some responsibility.
Compensation levels vary depending on a few different factors. In the UK the Department of Justice regulates the process of seeking redress and has placed a strict time limit to seek redress from your holiday company for these types of incidents.
Generally the type of sickness, the effect on a persons life and recovery time all have a bearing on the compensation level. Mild food poisoning for example has achieved compensation amounts of between £700 and £3,000 per affected person. In the more serious cases requiring hospital admissions and a significant change of life, people have been awarded up to £40,000 where sickness has triggered more serious, lasting conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive complaints.
If you have suffered illness whilst on holiday which was related to food poisoning, you may also be entitled to financial compensation from your holiday company. Lead News has setup a contact form to connect you with a specialist who will provide you with advice on your holiday sickness and give you information on whether you are entitled to receive any financial compensation. To make an enquiry click here.
Please complete the form and a specialist will be in touch with you; there is no upfront cost and there is no obligation to proceed further.
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