As the main Summer Holiday period commences, Simpson Millar’s travel lawyers are once again concerned to read reports concerning holidaymakers returning ill from one of First Choice’s flagship Holiday Villages. Once again families on hard earned breaks seek compensation, complaining about health and safety standards whilst on a package holiday with the UK’s largest tour operator.
This time it’s the turn of the Holiday Village Menorca. In the last few weeks numerous guests have reported that they fell ill with symptoms commonly associated with waterborne sickness and food poisoning.
Simon Lomax, Simpson Millar’s Holiday Illness Claims Team manager says:
The Holiday Village Menorca is described by the tour operator in its brochure as 'the ultimate action-packed holiday.' Unfortunately guests struck down with a debilitating sickness are unable to enjoy their all-in-one all-inclusive holiday experience. Instead of enjoying the numerous bars and restaurants, entertainment and the activities advertised they are stuck in their rooms feeling unwell.
First Choice's management must be sick and tired of these illness outbreaks eating into the firm’s profits. Given their influence over these large complexes which are geared solely to their guests, why don’t they do more to safeguard the well-being of their customers?"
Unfortunately those staying at these Holiday Village complexes experience travellers’ diarrhoea caused by micro-organisms that either damage the gut or interfere with their digestive systems. Many guests staying on these complexes have suffered serious bacterial or parasitic infections from bugs such as Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptosporidium and Campylobacter.
Holiday-makers due to visit a Holiday Village this summer are warned. Infection from contaminated food can cause unpleasant, debilitating and long term illnesses including secondary conditions such as food intolerance and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Be careful of what you eat. Make sure it’s cooked properly and hot.
Despite the cost of the holidays these complexes offer no absolute guarantee of safety from food poisoning or poor hygiene practices, and it would be an error for customers to assume that the food they are served is automatically safe.
Luke warm food, contaminated with flies, and that has been recycled from a previous sitting is a recipe for sickness and diarrhoea! Avoid it at all costs.
Our experienced team of travel lawyers are currently dealing with compensation claims for the following hotels:
Food poisoning is preventable and these outbreaks of illness could be avoided if the Holiday Villages implemented good food hygiene standards and HACCP auditing. Nothing less than a process of education or re-education in the fundamental principles of hygienic food preparation will protect travellers to these complexes during summer 2016. Simon continues to say:
Over the last 8 years I have advised many holidaymakers about their complaints, hygiene issues, service standards etc. at these large complexes. The issues raised often include:
Food hygiene is the manner in which food is handled or managed, so that food poisoning is prevented. This is done by:
Preventing food poisoning is achieved by implementing adequate hygiene checks, ensuring HACPP is implemented and by employing qualified and experienced health safety staff. Prevention is far better than cure and those expensive lawyers they hire to defend these claims.
Holiday makers should be aware that gastroenteritis caused by a food or water poisoning is avoidable if adequate hygiene procedures are put in place and are maintained. Do not believe the mysterious virus, heat or coconut oil excuses put forward by Representatives and welfare teams – they are foolish and could expose you to further complications that could have been treated!
Holidays often costing families thousands of pounds are special occasions and so every precaution should be taken to prevent illness. If mistakes are made the The Package Travel Regulations 1992 allow UK travellers to claim compensation from First Choice through our local courts (if necessary).
Our travel team has an enviable reputation for progressing foreign holiday illness claims. As well as a dedicated team of professional travel experts, we also work with foreign lawyers who are able to provide specialist advice on foreign law and foreign food safety standards.
If you would like to find out more about making a claim for food poisoning or illness suffered in Menorca, then please don't hesitate to contact a member of our specialist travel law team