Reports of continuing illness outbreak at the Hotel RIU Vallarta
Since reporting how the Hotel RIU Vallarta in Mexico may have problems with their standard of cleanliness and hygiene, we have received further enquiries that have indicated that there may be unresolved issues at the resort, as guests report to us that they have suffered an as yet undiagnosed gastric illness.
RIU hotel in Nuevo Vallarta resort
The Hotel RIU Vallarta is located in the popular Nuevo Vallarta resort which can be found on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, near Playa de Flamingos. Offered by TUI owned First Choice and TUI, the Mexican resort is advertised as part of First Choice’s ‘Premier’ brand and TUI’s ‘Platinum’ brand of hotels. While both tour operators tout the many appealing features of this all-inclusive, it appears that concerns that we raised in a previous article on the RIU Vallarta are coming to fruition, as holidaymakers have been getting in touch about their holiday illness.
Hygiene problems in Mexico
We’ve been contacted by holidaymakers who have reported to us some of the concerning hygiene problems that appear to be present at the RIU Vallarta. They informed us that they have been served meals that were lukewarm or cold, including high risk dishes such as meat being served undercooked and omelettes served runny.
They also noticed that the RIU Vallarta buffet was left uncovered, and if the dishes being served weren’t finished, then the catering team would either cover the old food with fresh, or recycle and reheat dishes for another time.
Insects and birds in dining areas
They have told us that there’s a big problem with flies at the RIU Vallarta, with the irritating insects being frequently spotted landing on fruit that guests would then consume. They even spotted the odd iguana helping themself to the all-inclusive food.
Equally of concern was the sighting of birds in the RIU Vallarta restaurant, which were spotted helping themselves to food. While this is sometimes seen as endearing by those with a soft spot for our feathered friends; birds can transmit a number of diseases if they have access to uncovered food intended for human consumption.
Dirty utensils and questionable water
Overall the holidaymakers who contacted us said that they were unimpressed with the standards of hygiene at the RIU Vallarta, where they state they were often exposed to dirty utensils, cutlery, plates and glasses. They have also informed us that in the restaurants the water was made available to them in jugs, making the source of the water unclear.
Symptoms of food poisoning
While the exact cause of their illness is unclear at this time, they suffered from the symptoms of a gastric illness that included nausea and diarrhoea, putting a downer on what should have been a great time in Mexico.
Should I be worried about food poisoning at the RIU Vallarta?
The standard at which the catering teams of the RIU Vallarta appear to be working to are particularly concerning, as it’s possible that some of the errors that they appear to be making could be resulting in guests suffering from food poisoning.
High risk produce, such as chicken, needs to be cooked thoroughly to eradicate harmful pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and Cyclospora. Many types of produce need to be cooked at above 63°C for a specified period of time, and they need to be kept at above that temperature before being served to reasonably reduce the risk of a food poisoning infection. Ensuring that meals have been thoroughly cooked means that meat such as chicken should not still be pink, and omelettes should not be runny.
Basic hygiene mistakes such as dirty cutlery, plates and glasses are completely unacceptable. Having paid for an all-inclusive package holiday, wherein you would expect to eat all of your meals in the hotel restaurants, you should be able to enjoy your food without concern, or feeling that you need to leave your resort to eat elsewhere.
Why is it important to keep food covered?
Keeping buffets covered can be a very beneficial step towards preventing a holiday illness. Doing so can help dishes to retain their heat, and prevent birds, insects and even lizards from getting to your dinner before you do. Insects and birds are capable of spreading a wide range of harmful bacteria, which can soon bring your holiday to a devastating halt.
Is the tap water safe in Mexico?
Mexico is known to have problems with keeping their water supply free of hazardous pathogens such as E. coli and Cryptosporidium, making it vital to avoid drinking from water fountains or unknown sources. It’s difficult to know if a water jug has been filled with clean or contaminated water, so you should only ever drink water from a sealed bottle.
Poor hygiene on an all-inclusive package holiday is unacceptable, and your tour operator should be taking steps to ensure that you do not come to harm while abroad. It should be common place for hotels throughout Mexico to have an effective hygiene process in place, and by claiming compensation you can show your tour operator that you won’t stand for subpar standards.
Can I claim compensation?
If you have been subjected to conditions similar to these, or become ill due to poor hygiene or any other cause that the staff at a package holiday hotel such as the RIU Vallarta could have prevented; under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you may be able to claim compensation from your tour operator.
Find out more
Our travel law specialists can advise you on whether you’re able to claim from your tour operator during a free no-obligation consultation, during which we can advise you of the amount of compensation you can expect to receive. We offer ‘no win no fee‘ terms, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.