Common Types of Food Poisoning on Holiday
The Bugs that Cause Holiday Illness
It is important to distinguish viruses from other germs that cause illness. Viruses include Norovirus or winter vomiting and in most cases they are spread from person-to-person as opposed to the consumption of contaminated food.
The 'top six' food poisoning bugs our travel lawyers help people claim compensation for are:
- Salmonella – this is often contracted from poorly cooked eggs and chicken. It is an illness that can be avoided if basic principles of food hygiene are followed. There may be outbreaks of Salmonella, particularly at all-inclusive resorts
- Cryptosporidium – is a tiny germ or parasite that is usually found in water which has been contaminated by human faeces. Commonly referred to as “crypto” this holiday bug is generally picked up from hotel swimming pools although it can be linked to fresh food washed in contaminated water. The bug is resistant to chlorine and so modern filtration techniques should be used by hotels to limit the spread and prevent illness outbreaks
- Campylobacter - is similar to salmonella and is also associated with poor food hygiene standards. “One off” cases of food poisoning are more likely although outbreaks are possible. Bird droppings at all-inclusive resorts are often a common cause of Campylobacter
- Shigella Dysentery - often associated with faecal contamination and can be spread through poor hygiene of kitchen staff
- E. coli 0157 - is often associated with undercooked beef or unwashed fruit and vegetables. There tends to be sporadic one-off cases of this bacterium although sickness outbreaks at foreign hotels can occur
- Giardiasis - this parasitic infection causes severe gastric illness in holidaymakers and is commonly contracted from the consumption of contaminated water. The giardia lamblia parasite is similar to Cryptosporidium in that it is highly resistant to chlorine.
How do I know what food poisoning bug I caught while on holiday?
The best way of determining the cause of your holiday sickness is by going to your doctor when you get back to the UK and insisting on providing a stool sample. Your sample will then be sent to a laboratory who will communicate the results to your GP.
Can I still claim if my results come back negative?
The answer is yes. If you have suffered serious bouts of sickness or diarrhoea while on holiday the chances are you have suffered some kind of food poisoning. We work with experts who can determine the most likely cause of your illness based on what you ate or drank beforehand.Simpson Millar LLP is a law firm with specialist knowledge of how to pursue food poisoning claims suffered on holiday. If you were exposed to illness or a food poisoning outbreak at a hotel abroad, call our Travel team today and claim compensation from your tour operator. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form.
Get in touch for a chat about how we can help you by filling in our quick, no obligation enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on 0808 145 1353.