Ruined break, 7lb weight loss and ongoing salmonella problems lead to £3,500 compensation for Egypt holidaymaker
A Manchester copywriter who contracted salmonella poisoning at an Egyptian hotel has won £3,500 compensation from Thomas Cook.
The 24-year-old’s holiday, at the Sunrise Resort, Hurghada, was wrecked when she was struck down with painful stomach cramps, indigestion and vomiting.
Her boyfriend, who accompanied our client on the £1,219 all-inclusive holiday in June 2014, experienced similar symptoms.
“This was my first time in Egypt,” our client said. “I’d been abroad before and was used to hot climates. I was fit and healthy before going away and I’d had no previous bowel or stomach problems.”
Surfaces left filthy while food attracted insects
Simpson Millar LLP’s Claire Rabbetts confirmed that the holidaymaker contracted a lasting illness during her stay at the Sunrise.
“Our client suffered salmonella-related illness due to poor levels of hygiene and a breakdown in standards and practises at the hotel,” Claire said.
“According to the couple, none of the hotel’s restaurant waiters wore gloves, hats or hairnets, even when they directly handled food. Temperatures were not checked, and newly-prepared dishes were often tipped onto food that had been standing for a while.
“Our client frequently noticed flies around buffet food, particularly fruit and yoghurt, and chicken was served pink.”
Our client said the restaurant always felt understaffed. “It was often quite busy and there didn’t seem to be many staff around. This led to dirty plates and cutlery being left on tables. When staff did clear the tables they sometimes just brushed bits of food off the cloth and onto the floor.”
With illness striking at the end of the holiday, our client’s journey home became a painful and embarrassing nightmare. She was constantly forced to rush for the lavatory.
“I spoke to a couple on the plane who had suffered stomach pains and vomiting and had to stop eating at the hotel because of it.”
Loss of weight – and loss of earnings
On her return, doctors identified salmonella and prescribed antibiotics. “Our client lost half-a-stone in weight and was forced off work for 6 days without pay,” Claire said.
“It’s worth noting that prior to becoming ill, the couple at no time ate outside of the hotel’s own restaurants.”
For long after her holiday, our client continued to experience symptoms of bloating and decreased appetite.
“Sometimes the bloating and indigestion are very bad,” she said. “There’s no particular food type that causes this reaction; it seems to be all foods.”
“Egypt? Never again!
Our client, who with Simpson Millar’s help won £3,500 damages from the hotel’s UK agent Thomas Cook, strongly criticised the Sunrise’s poor standards in a region whose torrid climate demands much higher.
“I am still suffering from ongoing effects of the illness,” she fumed. “The hotel was advertised as 4-star but certainly wasn’t up to this standard.
“Since coming home I’ve looked on TripAdvisor and there are numerous bad reviews on there in relation to the restaurants and the food served.
“I’ll never go back to Egypt again.”