Is Salmonella on the Menu at Your All-Inclusive Hotel?

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Over recent years there has been an increase in the demand for all-inclusive package holidays from tour operators including First Choice, Thomas Cook, Thomson, and Red Sea Holidays.

Salmonella Buffet
This may be due to the economic times and holidaymakers, especially families, wanting to make their money go further rather than missing out on their annual holiday.

All-inclusive Resorts: A 'One-Stop-Shop'

It is easier to stick to a budget as all meals, snacks and drinks are paid for in advance. There’s no stress about where to go to eat and the majority of these resorts cater for the whole family. With numerous pools to enjoy, daytime activities, kids club and evening entertainment there is no need to leave the complex.

However, with the large number of holidaymakers all under one roof problems can occur, especially if there is an illness outbreak. There are many different types of illness that can occur, including food poisoning. One of the most well-known types of food poisoning is caused by the bacteria Salmonella. Salmonella bacteria can live in the gut of many farm animals.

Salmonella is contracted by eating contaminated food. Most people associate it with raw eggs or undercooked chicken. The reality is that there are many ways in which salmonella can be contracted. Not only does it affect eggs, poultry, meat and milk, less obvious carriers are foods such as shellfish, fruit and green vegetables. This is due to them coming into contact with manure in the soil or sewage water. Reptiles can carry salmonella and even cats, dogs and rodents can become infected.

Salmonella infections can easily be prevented by implementing simple measures and following procedures for cooking, chilling, cleanliness and cross-contamination. A break down in any one of these procedures can result in a person contracting salmonella.

Symptoms of salmonella usually occur between 12 and 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria and include diarrhoea (sometimes bloody), stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.

Whilst most people only have acute symptoms for around 4-7 days and can recover without any specific treatment, other illnesses can develop. Possible complications include dehydration, bacteremia (when salmonella enters the bloodstream affecting body tissue), reactive arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.

If you have recently been on holiday and have experienced these symptoms it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

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