Holiday accidents abroad – Practical help and hints
A leading lawyer who specialises in food poisoning has called for a US led initiative which aims to stamp out Salmonella to apply to hotels and restaurants across the world.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on how the US Agricultural Department USDA plans to prevent cases of Campylobacter and Salmonella occurring (bacteria associated with contaminated meat and poultry that cause sickness and diarrhoea).
It is believed that approximately half of all chickens may be contaminated with Salmonella, so the measures are intended to motivate those involved in the production of chicken food products to take better steps to ensure their products are safe.
The USDA will impose limits on the samples that test positive for Salmonella and Campylobacter at 13.5% for chicken and 15.4% for Turkey. If a poultry production facility fails to meet those targets it will have failed the applicable standards.
In a more radical proposal by the USDA, in addition to setting limits they will be publishing the results of Salmonella and Campylobacter levels associated with food establishments online.
Will Other Countries Follow Suite?
When asked about whether such standards should be implemented in other countries, leading Travel Lawyer, Paul Stevens – who specialises in overseas class action claims involving food poisoning believes, “The initiatives taken by the USDA should be adopted by all nations – given the testing techniques that are now available. At Simpson Millar LLP we encounter far too many cases of Salmonella food poisoning that could clearly be avoided, often involving restaurants at all-inclusive resorts.”
He continues, “If food production facilities, restaurants and hotels the world over were to have their Salmonella testing results published online, not only would consumers be able to make informed decisions about where they purchased their food from, the establishments involved in the production of food would be inspired to ensure higher standards of food safety.”
It has been reported in ‘World Poultry News’ that that the intended measures are likely to lead to a reduction in 50000 cases of Salmonella and Campylobacter infections each year. It is believed that ‘pathogen reduction performance standard’ is likely to a yield a 30% reduction in Salmonella cases.
Paul, who has over 15 years experience in this area of law added, “Logic dictates that if these measures were to be introduced across the board, shoppers, diners, holidaymakers – in fact everyone, will be less likely to be exposed to harmful food poisoning. Of particular concern to me is the amount of people who suffer from food poisoning bug whilst at hotels abroad. If Public Health England and associated health protection establishments were to publish the details of food poisoning cases associated with those hotels online, I am sure we would see a massive down-turn in cases.”
Paul Stevens is a Travel Lawyer involved with helping consumers that suffer the serious consequences of overseas poisoning.