New data from Bott and Co shows Egypt as the most common winter sun destination for holiday illness claims.
An analysis of all our claims showed the following:
- Egypt as having 144% more holiday illness claims than in Mexico.
- Mexico with 22 % more holiday illness claims than the Dominican Republic.
- Dominican Republic having 197% more holiday illness claims than the Canary Islands and Morocco.
An analysis of all our claims showed the following:
|Top Five Winter Sun Countries||Percentage of claims|
But what happens if your long awaited trip is spent bed ridden and running to the toilet every other minute?
More and more awareness is being raised about being able to claim compensation for people who have fallen ill as a result of staying in an all-inclusive basis in foreign hotels. If you do become ill abroad, by law you are protected by
The Package Holiday Regulations 1992 (which means you have booked a package holiday) the tour operator is liable for all the services they provided for you. E.g. flights, accommodation, car hire.
Local standards in a country such as Egypt may not be what your average holidaymaker would expect if they holidayed in the UK because their hygiene standards are far lower. The consequences of breaking the Food Safety Act 1990 in the UK and the EEC can be:
- A fine up to £20,000
- A prison sentence of up to six months
- Business paying civil compensation to affected customers
What situations cause food poisoning?
The top five destinations listed above have some of the warmest climates in the world which means there is a higher chance of bacteria multiplying when food is left out. A lot of these all-inclusive resorts have a buffet service and open restaurants where food is left out for long periods of time without changing it regularly. Food that generally makes people unwell is because of the following:
- Insects found in the food
- Birds and cats roaming around the food area
- Food not being kept at a constant temperature
- Hot food being added to cold food
- Food being reheated
- Staff members not wearing gloves whilst handling food
Illnesses can also be contracted by drinking the tap water that hotels provide at meal times. There have been incidences of bottled water being refilled by the hotel and alcoholic drinks being watered down with tap water.
Many hotels in Egypt often recycle the effluent through the garden sprinkler system at night in order to save on sewage removal and water charges. Clients often complain of the smell of sewage whilst walking around the hotel grounds. Many hotels are also known to wash the food in tap water which effectively means they are washing the food in dirty sewage water.
Types of food poisoning that can be contracted
So what type of illnesses can people contract from food and drink? Typical gastro intestinal illness such as vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches and fatigue are extremely common but also the more serious food poisoning illnesses such as:
- Salmonella - this is often found in raw poultry
- Typhoid – this is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated food or water and contaminated faeces.
- Campylobacter – this is a common cause of food related illnesses. It spreads very easily from uncooked to cooked foods and requires only a few bacteria to cause illness.
- E. coli – most strains of E Coli are completely harmless to the body but there are strains that are very dangerous, in particular E Coli o157 which can be found in water supplies.
With Egypt, Mexico and Dominican Republic being in the top three for the worst for holiday sickness, some of our clients have spoken about their holiday illness experiences:
Jamie Ainsworth from Litchfield travelled to Ocean Blue and Sand Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on 27th August 2016. He began experiencing typical gastro intestinal symptoms on the second day of his stay such as stomach cramps, vomiting, and severe diarrhoea. He was also bedridden for three days out of his two week stay. The symptoms lasted nine days out of 14 nights which meant the majority of the holiday was ruined for him and his partner.
People don’t realise the lifelong consequences that food poisoning can have
Natalie Stringer from Manchester travelled to Hurghada, Egypt and stayed at the Sindbad Aqua Hotel & Spa on the 21st July 2015 for seven nights. On the third day of her stay she initially had the symptoms of stomach cramps, nausea and felt extremely fatigued. Natalie was still ill when travelling home, which made the journey particularly unpleasant for her.
She said, “The hotel failed to ensure that animals, birds, flies and other insects did not have access to the food service area. Needless to say the illness that I developed ruined the remainder of my holiday. I could not participate in normal holiday activities, nor could I make the most of the all-inclusive package I had paid for.”
Raising awareness of holiday illness
Andrew Peters, Legal Manager at Bott and Co talks about the importance of raising awareness for claiming compensation if you suffer with a holiday illness and how it can have a lasting impact on people.
“People don’t realise the lifelong consequences that food poisoning can have. For example contacting Salmonella, Campylobacter or E. coli can lead to serious conditions such as reactive arthritis or post infective irritable bowel syndrome. These can be life changing conditions. Only yesterday I spoke to a new client who contracted Salmonella on holiday which in turn caused reactive arthritis resulting in a three week stay in hospital and an inability to work.”
“Many people are not aware that you can claim for compensation under the Package Tours Regulations. Bott and Co are committed to raising awareness of their rights as a consumer to pursue claims arising from illnesses contracted whilst on holiday.”
“Clients often come to us after their complaint has been ignored by the Tour Operator who don’t want to accept responsibility. That’s why Bott and Co are here to help.”