£8,500 for honeymoon couple who contracted Salmonella at the Houda Golf and Beach Hotel in Tunisia
We have successfully secured £8,500 in compensation for a newlywed couple who contracted Salmonella while staying at the Houda Golf and Beach Hotel in Tunisia for their honeymoon, during which they say that they encountered concerning hygiene practices.
The Houda Golf and Beach Hotel in Skanes
At the time of our client’s honeymoon, the Houda Golf and Beach Hotel was advertised by Thomas Cook on an all-inclusive basis. Situated in the Skanes region of Tunisia, the Houda should have made for an ideal honeymoon destination, but disaster soon struck.
Honeymoon hygiene concerns
It didn’t take long for our clients to become aware of potential hygiene issues at the Houda Golf and Beach Hotel. They informed us that they noticed that while there was a system to keep buffet dishes warm with hot water (such as a bain-marie), food such as cooked chicken was often served lukewarm.
They say that they saw members of the hotel kitchen staff mixing old food with new and that when staff members lifted dishes from the buffet, the water that was intended to keep them warm would drip into the dishes that still contained food. They also say that cold food wasn’t chilled and was just left out at room temperature, adding that they didn’t see temperatures being checked during their stay.
Despite zappers being in place, our client says that there were lots of flies in the restaurant dining areas, and they also say that they saw a member of the hotel staff cleaning surfaces and then returning to food preparation without washing their hands.
Severe gastric illness in Tunisia
Two days into their stay at the Houda Golf and Beach Hotel, our client advised that they started to experience stomach illness symptoms, starting with stomach discomfort, followed by loose stools and cold sweats. They informed us that the next day they began to experience severe stomach pains, headaches, as well as further cold sweats and diarrhoea, which at one time resulted in our client passing a stool that resembled dark black water.
Soon after this, their partner became unwell and as a result of their symptoms, they became very dehydrated and fatigued, leaving them unable to enjoy their honeymoon as they had intended, as well as losing a noticeable amount of weight.
Their illness affected the remainder of their holiday and continued once they returned to the UK. Although they did try to return to work once they got back, doing so left them in debilitating pain, meaning that they had to take time off, resulting in a loss of earnings.
Compensation awarded following Salmonella diagnosis
Because their condition wasn’t improving, they went to see a GP and provided a stool sample for testing, after which they were prescribed medication for their symptoms. They were later contacted and advised that their stool sample showed that they had contracted Salmonella.
After instructing us to represent them, they were awarded compensation totalling £8,500. This took into account the severity of their illness, their loss of earnings and the impact it had on what should have been a special occasion, as well as recognising the long-term effects the illness had on our client’s health and quality of life.
Salmonella causes and what to do if you’re sick abroad
Salmonella can be caused by a wide range of different of hygiene issues. It’s often spread by faecal matter contamination, which can occur when flies land on uncovered buffet food or poor hygiene practices are followed. The Salmonella bacteria can also naturally occur in certain types of food, and in these instances, infection can occur when dishes aren’t cooked thoroughly enough or stored in a temperature controlled environment before being eaten.
If you suffer symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhoea (which may be bloody or dark in colour), vomiting, nausea, headaches and fevers and/or chills, then you may have contracted Salmonella. It’s important to see a medical practitioner if you suspect that you’ve been infected, and request that they carry out a stool sample test so that you can be accurately diagnosed. Once you return to the UK, contact a travel law specialist.