Holiday Food – can ruin your holiday, and your health

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The BBC’s Save My Holiday has focussed on how all-inclusive holidays abroad can be ruined just by the standards of food on offer at so called 4 and 5 Star hotels.

So far this week we’ve seen the story of best friends Ann and Julie, who always holiday together each year. This time they chose the 5 Star Aquas Blue Marine Resort and Spa in Crete – the hotel’s website presented a paradise setting and the women spent £1,700 on their all-inclusive luxury holiday.

Ann, strapped for cash due to the recession, even sold some family heirlooms to meet her half of the costs rather than let her friend down by not going on holiday.

Crete Holiday Illness

Once there, the women were horrified by the all-inclusive buffet food on offer – some of it unidentifiable, almost all of it inedible. The food was served at best tepid, if not cold. It was soggy, unappetising and possibly downright dangerous. Thanks to Save My Holiday Ann and Julie were moved to another, properly-rated, 5 Star hotel where they could enjoy the holiday – and the food – they had paid for.

Friends Sharon and Stephanie weren’t so lucky on their all-inclusive Dominican Republic holiday. They had paid over £1,500 for a two week, 4 Star experience to celebrate Sharon’s 40th birthday.

Their first impressions of the hotel were “amazing” and just what they had hoped for. That first night they dined in the all-inclusive restaurant where every type of food was on offer, with drinks too. Tired from their journey, the ladies dined light and had an early night. Though one of the dining options was to present your selection of raw food to the chef, who cooked it in front of you – then served the cooked food onto the same plate that had held the raw ingredients...

The next day it was Stephanie who was first to be taken ill with food poisoning, closely followed by Sharon. Sharon was by far the worst affected and was literally confined to the bathroom. The ladies went to the local medical centre for treatment, but were told they would not be treated and to buy medication from the local pharmacy. They did – but still spent the entire rest of their ‘holiday’ suffering from food poisoning.

On their return to the UK and after a raft of medical tests, both Sharon and Stephanie were diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as a direct result of their food poisoning on holiday. Both ladies will now suffer the chronic pain of this condition for life.

In each case the friends concerned should have contacted a Holiday Claims Solicitor to see if they could have claimed compensation for holiday illness or loss of enjoyment on holiday. Sharon and Stephanie had a particularly strong case as they weren’t the only hotel guests to suffer food poisoning from the all-inclusive buffet, though they didn’t have the time or energy to gather evidence. Ann and Julie did get video footage of the appalling food on offer at their all-inclusive hotel which would have strengthened a compensation claim.

Before you go on an all-inclusive holiday make sure you research your destination and hotel thoroughly and ensure you get full medical insurance before you travel. If you need to claim compensation for holiday illness, get as much evidence as possible to support your holiday compensation claim.

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