The Dangers of Hotel Buffets on All-inclusive Holidays - Salad, Sausages and Salmonella!


Imagine this scenario that happens all too often to our clients:

You have arrived at your 5 star all-inclusive hotel in Sharm El Sheikh hungry after a 5 and a half hour flight. It's 10.00 PM at night and you are ravenous. You have seen all the images of the buffet restaurant on TripAdvisor and the tour operator's website which show a fantastic range of starters, salads, meat and fish dishes and desserts. In short, you can't wait to eat after an arduous coach transfer and checking in process.

All Inclusive Hotel Illness

The reality could not be further from what is expected.

You enter the hotel restaurant to note that it is practically empty, the tables have not been cleaned and there is little by way of food on display. What is left is some pretty limp looking salad, a non-descript meat dish which looks like it has been left out for hours and some partially melted ice cream. Starving hungry you decide to eat what you can before you head for a quick night cap and off to bed.

The next day you spend most of your time by the pool taking in the sunny weather looking forward to the rest of your break. However that same evening you feel a bit lethargic and decide not make use of the all-inclusive bar and head to bed early. 2 hours later you are awake with the most horrendous stomach cramps you have experienced in your life which are shortly accompanied by profuse diarrhoea and vomiting.

Your dream holiday has been ruined due to salmonella food poisoning – probably from that salad, which, it turns out, was washed in contaminated water, the chicken that was left out at room temperature for hours on end - or the ice cream that had melted and been refrozen half a dozen times.

Food Hygiene Practices

Every year Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors help hundreds of people that have suffered illness following their stay at all-inclusive hotels in Turkey, Egypt Greece and Spain.

One of the most common reasons for suffering such illness is that the staff responsible for the service of the buffet food have failed to apply the same basic food hygiene practices that we apply in our own homes to avoid food poisoning. Simple measures such as washing fruit and vegetables in treated water, disposing of out of date food and storing food at the right temperature will help to remove the chances of contracting food poisoning.

Unfortunately for some unlucky holidaymakers they will be playing Russian roulette every time they take a mouthful of hotel buffet food.

Even if everything looks ok, you may well not know what is happening in the kitchens. You will not know if the salad has been prepared on the same surface as raw chicken, if the prawns are two days out of date or whether hot water is available for hand washing - if the hotel chefs are washing their hands at all!

What Help can I get?

Where we can help people who wish to claim against their tour operator for food poisoning is with establishing the most likely source of the illness. We are unlike other travel law firms, because the majority of our lawyers have been handpicked from senior positions with the major tour operators and have inside knowledge of the travel industry.

We can help you to decipher the most likely cause of the infection to maximise your chances of claiming compensation. We work with a host of scientists, medical experts and specialists, who know about the standards of the hotel you are staying at.

Those wishing to benefit from such expertise can do so under a no win no fee funding arrangement. All you need do is pick up the phone or email us and we will be in contact with you straight away for advice.

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