Food Poisoning on Holiday Claims

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Have you or your family had a holiday ruined after being struck by illness or sickness on holiday or by a food poisoning outbreak at a hotel? If so then our Holiday Claims Solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Causes of Food Poisoning on Holiday

Food poisoning on holiday is mainly caused by a bacterial infection, it is not an airborne virus or a bug as some tour operators have claimed.

Anyone who has suffered from food poisoning on holiday abroad will know only too well what a horrible experience it is. The last thing you want is your holiday ruined by illness especially if you have young children.

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Hotels Can Prevent Food Poisoning

Food poisoning at a holiday hotel or resort can be easily avoided if food is cooked thoroughly and basic food hygiene practices are followed. Food poisoning at hotels is unacceptable.

Do not accept any offers of compensation until you have taken legal advice from a Solicitor who specialises in food poisoning claims as you could undervalue your claim.

The information below is a guide to the common food poisoning symptoms and the different types of illness you may pick up whilst on holiday abroad.

Holiday Food Poisoning Symptoms

Food poisoning can develop rapidly and within an hour or slowly and over a matter of weeks depending on the infection.

Typical symptoms of food poisoning can include mild or severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, aching muscles and joints, headaches, dizziness and confusion, vomiting, flu symptoms, rigors, hot and cold chills, a stiff neck.

But food poisoning can also lead to more serious secondary conditions such as an Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Reactive Arthritis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Holiday Food Poisoning Sicknesses

The most common types of holiday illness and sickness our Holiday Claims Solicitors deal with as a result of poor hotel hygiene or food poisoning include:

  • Salmonella: is known to cause Reiter’s Syndrome or a "reactive arthritis" – symptoms include joint pain and eye irritation and pain passing water. Most joints may be affected but the pain and is most commonly experienced in fingers, toes, knees, ankles and hips. Most people recover within a year but in some cases leads to chronic arthritis.

  • E. coli: (Escherichia coli) is a bacteria that normally lives in the intestines. Some strains of E. coli cause diarrhoea after eating contaminated food or drinking fouled water.

  • Campylobacter: can cause serious secondary conditions such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome - a disorder where the body's immune system attacks the nervous system which can lead to paralysis

  • Dysentery/Shigella: can cause bacteria to enter the blood stream leading to seizures due to high fever particularly in children under the age of two years.

  • Cryptosporidium: (Cryptosporidiosis) is a parasite which can cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever, vomiting and weight loss.

Unusual Illnesses

Our Solicitors also pursue food poisoning and illness claims involving unusual diseases such as:


Caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. It is passed on by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with faeces from an infected person. Note: ice cubes are a potential source and so is salad washed in tap water.

Typhoid does not affect animals and therefore transmission is only from human to human. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human faeces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water

Amoebic Dysentery

Amoebiasis is usually transmitted by the faecal-oral route but can be transmitted indirectly through contact with dirty hands or objects, i.e. door knobs, food handling utensils, toilet handles.

Amoebic dysentery is often confused with "traveller's diarrhoea" because of its prevalence in developing nations. In fact, most traveller's diarrhoea is bacterial or viral in origin

Giardia lamblia

Giardia infection can occur through ingestion of contaminated water, food, or by the faecal-oral route (through poor hygiene practices).

The Giardia cyst can survive for months in warm water and therefore can be present in contaminated wells and water systems, especially stagnant water sources such as naturally occurring ponds, pools and storm water storage systems

It may also occur in city reservoirs and persist after water treatment, as the Giardia cysts are resistant to conventional water treatment methods such as chlorination

In addition to waterborne sources, faecal-oral transmission can also occur, for example in children’s holiday clubs, where children may have poor hygiene practices. Those who work with children are also at risk of being infected, as are family members of infected individuals.

Giardia affects humans, but is also one of the most common parasites infecting cats, dogs and birds.


Noroviruses are transmitted directly through person to person or indirectly via contaminated water and food. The source of waterborne outbreaks may include water from tap water supplies, wells, swimming pools and ice machines

Shellfish and salads are the foods most often implicated in Norwalk outbreaks. Ingestion of raw or insufficiently steamed oysters poses a high risk for infection with the Norwalk virus

Foods other than shellfish can be contaminated by ill food handlers

Hepatitis A

Most commonly transmitted by the faecal-oral route via contaminated food or drinking water. In developing countries, and in regions with poor hygiene standards, the incidence of infection with this virus is high.

Foreign Countries

Our Holiday Claims Solicitors pursue compensation claims on behalf of holiday makers returning to the UK from:

  • Egypt
  • Dominican Republic
  • Turkey
  • Bulgaria
  • Mexico
  • Cuba
  • Tunisia
  • Morocco
  • Spain
  • Greece & its Islands
  • Portugal
  • Majorca
  • Cyprus
  • Jamaica
  • Sri Lanka
  • Maldives
  • Goa
  • Menorca
  • Ibiza
  • Lanzarote
  • Gran Canaria
  • Fuerteventura
  • Cape Verde
  • Tenerife
  • Kenya
  • Gambia
  • NB: If you were ill on holiday anywhere we can help!

These holiday destinations are featured by the UK’s leading tour operators including:

  • Airtours Holidays
  • Kuoni
  • Crystal Holidays
  • Direct Holidays
  • First Choice Holidays
  • Balkan Holidays
  • Libra Holidays
  • Virgin Holidays
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Saga Holidays
  • Thomas Cook Holidays
  • Thomson Holidays
  • Olympic Holidays

All of whom offer summer and winter all-inclusive hotel package holidays.

Preventing Food Poisoning on Holiday

Holiday sickness caused by food poisoning is preventable:

  • Sanitation and good hygiene practices are the critical measures that can be taken to prevent food poisoning.
  • Food handling staff should wash their hands regularly
  • Raw and cooked meats should not be allowed to cross-contaminate
  • Food should be cooked thoroughly, and
  • Vegetables and salads washed in clean water
  • Food work surfaces and cutting boards should be disinfected
  • Eggs which carry the salmonella bacteria should be stored and prepared separately
  • Chicken should be cooked at a temperature of at least 170 degrees and never served pink or bloody. Thigh meat should be cooked at least 180 degrees
  • Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter are usually caused by poor food hygiene standards
  • Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia are caused by contaminated water.

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