Holiday Illness Claims
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Bacterial Food Poisoning

The main cause of food poisoning is the bacteria that can live inside food which once ingested causes illness.

Some bacterial infections which holidaymakers report each year include: SalmonellaCampylobacterE ColiShigellaListeria and Cholera.

There are 2 ways in which the bacteria trigger the symptoms of food poisoning.

  • When food contaminated by a bacterial agent is consumed it enters the stomach and intestines. As the bacteria travel through the stomach they attach to the stomach's lining where they multiply and attack the cells living in the stomach wall by overwhelming the cells.
  • The bacteria destroys cells by releasing toxins. These toxins can be dangerous and deadly if they enter the bloodstream where they can attack organs such as the liver and kidneys causing often irreparable damage and sometimes death.

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In the instance of toxic food-poisoning, toxins might be produced during the food growing stage or contaminated food can release toxins after it has been consumed.

In the instance where food already contains toxins symptoms of food poisoning will present very quickly.

Where bacteria is consumed which then releases toxins, symptoms may take 24 – 48 hours to present – although sometimes much longer.

Can you claim compensation? Yesbacterial food poisoning can be avoided if food is prepared safely and cooked properly.

How Does Bacteria Grow?

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Warm environments allow bacteria to thrive and in doing so they multiply rapidly by diving in half and half again and continue to divide in this manner.

A raw piece of chicken left at room temperature for 12 hours can become contaminated by millions of bacteria in such a short space of time. Anyone who then touches the meat will contaminate their fingers and can then cross-contaminate anything they subsequently touch – in each case depositing bacteria which will continue to multiply.

A most minuscule exposure to the bacteria via the oral faecal route (for example eating a solitary chip using fingers that have been contaminated) can cause food poisoning.

Bacteria cannot thrive in cold temperatures or in extremely hot temperatures. Therefore storing food in a suitably chilled fridge and then cooking food thoroughly will reduce the risk of bacteria surviving.

Holiday Illness common reason: Buffets at hotels abroad where food is lukewarm and exposed for long periods of time can be a breeding ground for bacteria to grow.

If you have suffered from bacterial food poisoning at your hotel abroad then get in touch with our Holiday Illness Claims Team today on: