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Holiday Food Poisoning on a Package Holiday


A common complaint from travellers returning to the UK is that they have suffered with illness whilst they have been away. Quite often the illness is nothing more than a simple case of ‘Travellers’ Diarrhoea’ with symptoms lasting no more than a couple of days. However, many incidents are far more serious. Food Poisoning is likely to ruin the rest of your holiday, see you suffering with illness symptoms for a number of days or weeks and could potentially lead to future health problems.

Am I on a Package Holiday?

If you booked a package holiday then you are covered under the Package Tour Regulations 1992 which will allow you to pursue a claim against the Tour Operator.

If you booked the holiday yourself, sorting out flights, transfers and accommodation separately then you will not be covered by the Package Tour Regulations 1992 and will find it difficult to make a claim .

How do I know if it’s Food Poisoning?

Food Poisoning symptoms include profuse diarrhoea, severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea and headaches. In some cases, severe dehydration occurs which may lead to hospitalisation.

The most common type of infection is bacterial holiday food poisoning from Salmonella, Campylobacter or E.coli. Confirmation of food poisoning is obtained through a stool sample which will reveal the type of food poisoning and the necessary treatment.

If the infection is viral (i.e. a virus is being spread person to person) then it will be more difficult to hold the hotel responsible and pursue the Tour Operator.

How did I get Food Poisoning on holiday?

Holiday Food Poisoning happens as a result of consuming infected food or drink at a hotel which has failed to follow even the most basic hygiene standards and procedures.

To be able to successfully pursue a holiday food poisoning compensation claim against the Tour Operator you will need to prove:

  • The contaminated food and/or drink was produced by the hotel
  • The food served by the hotel formed part of your package holiday

If you have only eaten or drunk within the confines of your hotel during the holiday then it is more likely that the source of your holiday food poisoning is the hotel. Other hotel guests may also be suffering from food poisoning too.

Hotel has given me Holiday Food Poisoning – What should I do?

  • Seek medical attention straight away
  • Keep hold of any receipts for treatment and medication
  • Report your food poisoning illness to the Tour Operator representative and complete a complaint form
  • Report your food poisoning illness to the Hotel staff and Manager
  • Gather the names and addresses of other holidaymakers suffering from food poisoning at the hotel
  • Take photographs and/or video of hygiene conditions in the hotel
  • On your return home to the UK, visit a doctor if you are still suffering with symptoms of food poisoning
  • Contact Simpson Millar’s dedicated Travel Team for advice and help

Taking your claim for Holiday Food Poisoning forward

Thousands of holidaymakers each year suffer with food poisoning. Holidays are ruined not through their own fault but because the hotel has been negligent in its preparation and service of food.

You can claim compensation from your Tour Operator for the food poisoning you contracted on holiday.

Simpson Millar Solicitors has a specialist team of travel lawyers who have years of experience in handling holiday food poisoning claims.

Simpson Millar will provide specialist understanding of your food poisoning compensation claim and are committed to dealing fully with all aspects of your claim and ensuring you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your food poisoning illness.

Holiday Hotel Watch

The Guidelines for compensation amounts for food poisoning are:

  • £31,075 to £42,460 – Holidaymakers who suffer food poisoning which has a significant effect on their domestic and social life and has impacted on their daily employment. This is the most severe category of food poisoning and the individual will have required hospital admittance for a substantial period of time. The claimant is likely to have experience severe pain and suffering, and has developed complications such as IBS – severe food intolerance - reactive arthritis – anal fissures and possibly incontinence.
  • £7,700 to £15,510 – Serious but often short lived bout of food poisoning, such as Salmonella E.Coli of Campylobacter, which resolves usually after four weeks but leaves the holidaymaker with some symptoms lasting typically a few years. The individual may suffer from gastric bloating, irregular bowel movements and find they developed intolerance to spicy food.
  • £3,190 to £7,700 – Holidaymakers make full recovery from food poisoning within one to two years. The person is likely to have been admitted to a hospital for several of days and will have suffered symptoms including severe stomach cramps – significant changes to bowel habits, lethargy and fatigue.
  • £737 to £3,190 – The holidaymaker may have suffered from severe abdominal cramping and watery diarrhoea for a number of days but will have made a complete recovery within a few weeks.

Our expert travel lawyers will advise whether your holiday food poisoning compensation claim is likely to be successful and will explain to you all the possible options available to you to fund your claim, such as our ‘No Win, No Fee’ arrangement.

Telephone or email Simpson Millar today to discuss making a holiday food poisoning compensation claim against your Tour Operator.

Simpson Millar is a national law firm with a large spread of offices across the country. We are based in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Cardiff, Bristol and Gateshead.