Perhaps the most common bacteria that we are contacted about by holidaymakers that suffer illness during their holiday is salmonella.
The Health Protection Agency advises that salmonella is one of the most common causes of traveller’s diarrhoea and that symptoms can be particularly severe amongst children and elderly people.
Symptoms of salmonella are likely to include vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, headaches, stomach cramps and nausea. The infection is usually contracted from contaminated eggs, chicken and meat products.
Typically, tour operators will argue that you cannot prove that you contracted salmonella or a food poisoning bug unless it has been detected in your stool by your local health laboratory. However, that is often a misconception designed to put people off making a claim.
Our advice to anyone unlucky enough to suffer symptoms of salmonella while on holiday is that they may be able to pursue a claim against their travel company.
The following will be helpful indicators of being able to make a claim for salmonella poisoning:
In short we can assist consumers with salmonella claims even if you did not test positive for salmonella – and even if you had no tests performed at all.
Those suffering from food poisoning are advised to seek medical attention immediately because if left untreated symptoms may continue indefinitely and can have long term consequences including chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome – both of which you can claim compensation from your travel company for if they are at fault.
We also recommend while you are overseas that you research phrases such as "salmonella prevention" which may help you spot things that restaurant staff are doing that could have caused your illness.
It is our experience that a common source of salmonella is the egg station in the buffet area of the hotel restaurant. Time and time again we receive reports about show cooks using the same utensils to prepare cooked and raw eggs. You may also notice that there are rarely hand washing facilities for chefs in the buffet area – which are essential if cross contamination is to be prevented.
The amount of compensation you can claim for a salmonella infection will vary, dependent on the duration of the illness and the cost of the holiday - and whether you have lost earnings. Typical awards tend to range between £2,000 and £25,000.
We are happy to provide free legal advice to anyone who has returned from their holiday with a salmonella infection and wants to know more about the health and safety obligations of tour operators – and the applicable hygiene standards in destinations such as Turkey, Egypt, Cuba, Tunisia and Spain.
We do offer legal representation for those wanting to bring a claim against their tour operators. Our dedicated international law team specialise in only making claims involving foreign travel and have worked for the major tour operators including Thomson, First Choice and Thomas Cook.