The disastrous events at the Steigenberger Acqua Magic hotel in Egypt where a considerable number of guests fell ill and tragically John and Susan Cooper died, (the circumstances of their deaths are unknown and under investigation), serve to remind travellers that there are invisible dangers that should be considered when holidaying or working abroad. The two most perilous unseen risks are possibly food poisoning and carbon monoxide gas; neither deadly hazard can be seen.

Giambrone's personal injury lawyers are experienced in dealing with the complexities of holiday illness matters and the changes in the way such cases are dealt with in law, the Civil Procedure Rule Committee brought holiday illness under the personal injury umbrella which limits the legal costs in response to the large numbers of spurious holiday illness claims which were increasingly being brought year on year.

It can be extremely upsetting to have a holiday ruined by illness and not just for the person affected, fellow holidaymakers cannot enjoy the experience if their partner or friend is ill the whole experience is blighted. The lawyers at Giambrone are experienced in obtaining just and fair settlements that reflect the true impact of the ruined holiday.

Travellers may like to consider ways of protecting themselves for their own safety by avoiding food that carries an enhanced risk if it is not properly prepared, for example, rice, chicken, seafood, ice, tap water and food coated in a spicy sauce that may mask the taste of poorly cooked food. Any food that is lukewarm is a risk; food should be properly heated or properly chilled as appropriate.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said there were about 35,000 claims over holiday sickness in 2016. An afflicted holidaymaker whose holiday has been ruined and their health compromised is faced with the problem of proving where the liability lies. Clearly, if a number of people are affected at the same hotel or restaurant at the same time this becomes a far easier task. Giambrone is well versed in running class actions should there have been an incident involving several people. There are a number of steps you should take if you truly believe your holiday was blighted by an avoidable bout of food poisoning:

  • As soon as you fall ill and suspect food poisoning, report the matter to your holiday rep.
  • Make sure a written record is made of your complaint and ask for a copy.
  • Seek medical attention and ask the doctor for a copy of the records.
  • Keep a note of any medication you take to counter the illness.
  • Obtain the contact details of any other guests similarly affected.

There are European standards of food hygiene and legislation that requires food business operators to establish, implement and maintain food safety management system based on the seven Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles. Should an organisation have breached these standards and this can be demonstrated this will also comprise supporting evidence to a claim.

The lawyers at Giambrone will be able to guide you through your claim

A claim for holiday food poisoning is like any other personal injury claim it will only succeed if there is sufficient evidence to support the allegation.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.