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All-inclusive holidays abroad: What causes Salmonella and how can risk be lowered?

If you suffer gastric illness whilst on an all-inclusive holiday or cruise and are subsequently diagnosed with having contracted a salmonella infection, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.

WHAT IS SALMONELLA AND THE EFFECTS?

Salmonella is probably the most well-known type of bacterium causing food poisoning amongst holidaymakers.

It is a group of bacteria that lives in the gut of animals, meaning it can infect meat and dairy products, such as milk and eggs, which have not been cooked properly.

Although it’s very common and can affect people of all ages, its symptoms usually have a more serious impact on the elderly, people with a chronic illness or low immune system and young children. Symptoms are not usually as severe in healthy people and most get better without needing medical treatment.

HOW DO YOU GET IT?

Undercooked meat, poultry and eggs are the biggest source of Salmonella bacteria.

Fruit and vegetables washed in contaminated water are also a source of infection as is unpasteurized milk.

Unfortunately, the food served in restaurants in all-inclusive hotels is not always served at the correct temperature and may be undercooked. Food that should be served hot is often lukewarm. Hot food should be hot and cold foods should be properly chilled.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Symptoms include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Chills
  • Blood in the stool
  • Muscle pains
  • Headache
  • Sickness
  • Fever

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST? AND HOW IS IT TREATED?

Salmonella symptoms usually last around a week, but may last longer depending on the severity of the infection and who has contracted it.

Should you suffer any of the above symptoms, we would advise you to seek medical attention immediately.

Replacing lost fluids with bottled water and rehydration sachets is also advisable.

If your symptoms are painful, ibuprofen is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine which can help ease your suffering.

TIPS TO AVOID IT…

  • Avoid undercooked meat, poultry and eggs and unpasteurized milk.
  • Do not eat hot food which is lukewarm – eat freshly and thoroughly cooked food that is piping hot.
  • Avoid foods which are re-heated.
  • Avoid foods exposed to insects, flies or birds – common in all-inclusive resorts.
  • Avoid ice in drinks unless you are sure that it was made from treated or chlorinated water.
  • Don’t eat foods which have been handled unhygienically.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand gel regularly.

COULD YOU MAKE A SALMONELLA COMPENSATION CLAIM?

You may be entitled to make a claim if you can answer yes to the following questions…

  • Did you book your holiday as a package deal?
  • Did you only eat food at the hotel, or on the cruise ship, before becoming ill?
  • Did you receive medical attention abroad or after you returned home?
  • Did you report your illness to the tour operator?

If you cannot answer yes to all of the above, a successful compensation claim could still be made, so please contact our team for advice.

All our Salmonella claims are conducted on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis – so you won’t be left out of pocket if your case is unsuccessful.

OUR ADVICE

Many people are becoming reluctant to pursue claims for holiday illness due to recent negative media coverage, but those who have suffered genuine illness due to poor hygiene and health standards have a right to compensation.

For that reason, we would strongly advise sufferers to report any gastric illness suffered to their tour operator’s holiday representative and to the hotel, not only for their benefit, but to ensure standards are challenged and raised for future holiday guests.

Salmonella should be prevented and your feedback helps tour operators to drive up the hygiene practices put in place by the hotel providers.

If you’ve become ill whilst on an all-inclusive holiday or cruise, get in touch so that we can carefully consider the strength of your case.

With more than 50 years’ combined experience under our belt, we can help you claim the compensation you deserve.

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