Food Poisoning claim advice
Becoming ill with food poisoning on a package holiday can be a horrific experience that results in missing out on the holiday that you worked hard for and visiting foreign doctors and hospitals rather than beaches and pools. Food poisoning on holiday is becoming an increasing problem for British tourists travelling to hotels where proper hygiene standards are not being adhered to, but if your package holiday has been ruined by food poisoning you might be entitled claim compensation.
Can I claim compensation?
If you travelled on a package holiday that you paid a single price for in the UK, then it’s highly likely that you’ll be covered by The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. These regulations are in place to make sure that everything that is provided by your tour operators’ third party suppliers is up to the standards advertised and doesn’t cause you to come to harm. This can include your flights, accommodation and meals on your package holiday.
In the event that your tour operator fails to uphold reasonable standards and you become ill, then regardless of whether you became unwell at the hotel, on a flight or during a cruise, your tour operator is to blame. Because of this you can claim compensation from them within the UK, provided you can prove that an aspect of your package holiday caused you to become ill.
What types of food poisoning can I claim for?
Food poisoning is the most common cause of diarrhoea suffered by British tourists on package holidays, and can be caused by any of the following harmful bacteria and parasites:
How can I tell if I have a claim?
Suffering the symptoms of food poisoning can sometimes be enough to start a claim as it can be difficult to achieve a diagnosis of your condition without a medical investigation and stool sample test while you are unwell. The aforementioned illnesses share several symptoms that are usually indicative of food poisoning. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms it’s imperative that you seek medical help and receive a proper diagnosis and treatment:
How much compensation can I get?
While the amount of compensation that you can claim will depend on your individual circumstances, the JC Guidelines which provide estimates on the amount of compensation that can be awarded to those who suffer from food poisoning have the following advice:
What if I suffer further health problems?
Food poisoning can result in long term health problems that have a direct impact on your quality of life, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) that might require you to alter your diet and take medication to avoid crippling abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements. Some types of food poisoning can result in Reactive Arthritis, a condition that can cause your joints to swell and fluid to collect on your knee joints and ankles, or in some cases around your wrists, fingers and other joints.
When assessing the amount of compensation that we can pursue on your behalf we will consider how your initial symptoms could impact your on-going health.
What should I do if I’m Ill abroad?
If you do suffer from food poisoning on a package holiday it’s important to make the management team at your hotel aware of your condition and to receive medical attention if your symptoms are of a serious nature or have persisted for more than 24 hours. You should also report your illness to your tour operator representative, insist that they record your complaint in writing and provide you with a copy of their report.
If other guests are suffering from the same symptoms as you, ensure that they do the same and share contact information with them. If you decide to pursue a claim for compensation upon returning to the UK, their testimony might be used as evidence as it’s more difficult for a tour operator to claim that your condition was caused by an isolated viral infection.
In the event that your tour operator fails to uphold reasonable standards and you become ill, then regardless of whether you became unwell at the hotel, on a flight or during a cruise, your tour operator is to blame.
By collecting the details of other guests who have suffered from the same symptoms as you, you might be in a position to take group action against your tour operator, something which in some circumstances can result in greater compensation awards.
Should I take medication offered abroad?
As with any condition that you experience in the UK, if you suffer food poisoning abroad it’s advisable to receive a diagnosis to ensure that you are prescribed with the appropriate medication. If you are prescribed medication or placed on an intravenous drip, it’s vital that you ensure that you understand what you are being treated with and are provided with documentation that details what you have taken
What can I do to avoid food poisoning on holiday?
Food poisoning is often preventable, and so long as your tour operator is enforcing basic hygiene practices at your resort you shouldn’t have a problem. If you want to reduce the chances of contracting a holiday ruining illness, the following tips can help you to avoid consuming food and beverages that have been contaminated by harmful bacteria or parasites: