Holiday food poisoning risks abroad

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Published: 23rd May 2011
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Holiday food poisoning risks abroad have increased since the introduction of all inclusive holiday hotels in Turkey, Egypt, The Dominican Republic, Spain, Tunisia, The Maldives, Morocco, Cuba and Mexico.

Hundreds of cases of holiday food poisoning have been reported at resorts throughout the world and some holidaymakers are still suffering symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea when they return to the UK which leaves them unable to return to work. More cases of holiday illness are thought to go unreported when symptoms are mild.
There are some simple ways in which to prevent holiday food poisoning. Food handlers must:

• Never reheat food
• Never mix fresh food with older food in a holiday buffet restaurant
• Never leave food open to fly and insect contamination
• Never allow animals to wander around in the restaurant/kitchen
• Never serve eggs or meat undercooked
• Always serve food at the correct temperatures
• Always wash hands after using the toilet and/or after preparing different foods
• Always wash cutting boards between use with different foods
• Never prepare raw meat near other foods at a holiday barbecue
• Thaw food thoroughly

Food borne illness can cause serious bouts of vomiting, diarrhoea and even death if it goes untreated. Salmonella food poisoning is the most common type of food borne illness in the world and is most likely to cause serious illness among young children, older people, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women. The most serious types of illness occur when a person becomes dehydrated. This typically happens when holiday food poisoning causes a person to lose more fluid than they can replace, usually after prolonged bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Gather as much evidence as possible if you become sick with a food-related illness during your holiday and make a formal complaint to the holiday representative. There is nothing worse than suffering stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever during your holiday abroad and, if you have become ill in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Tunisia, The Maldives, The Dominican Republic, Cuba or Mexico during the past three years, you could still be eligible to claim compensation from the tour operator. Choose a no win, no fee personal injury solicitor to represent you and it won΄t cost you a penny to bring a case against them.

Cases of campylobacter infection have also increased recently and the illness commonly causes diarrhoea and stomach cramps which can last up to ten days or more if they go untreated. Many animals carry campylobacter without showing any signs of the illness and some infections can follow direct contact with animals. Most outbreaks of campylobacter in holiday hotels however is linked to the consumption of undercooked poultry.

Food handlers must always do everything possible to prevent bacteria from entering the food chain and must maintain a high standard of personal hygiene, including washing hands regularly and always after using the bathroom. Storing and cooking foods correctly can also prevent food related illness and work surfaces and serving areas must be kept scrupulously clean. Even when food preparation areas are clean, food poisoning can easily occur if food is not cooked correctly. Barbecued food has to be cooked through, particularly chicken, pork and burgers. If you are sick after eating contaminated food at package tour hotels in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Tunisia, Cuba, Mexico or elsewhere in the world, seek legal advice as soon as you return to the UK.

Adrian vultur writes for Holiday illness claims

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