Holiday Illness Claims
On holiday illness claims benefits

Salmonella Food Poisoning Holiday Claims - Frequently Asked Questions

What is salmonella?

Salmonella is the most common cause of food poisoning experienced on holiday by UK travellers abroad, affecting thousands of people each year.

The main symptoms of salmonella food poisoning include profuse diarrhoea, stomach cramps, headaches and often vomiting and fever. Most holidaymakers recover without medical intervention, but hospital admission whilst abroad is very common because dehydration caused by the diarrhoea and vomiting can be life-threatening, especially in the young and the elderly. These individuals have a greater risk of being extremely ill and requiring hospital admission.

How do holidaymakers contract salmonella?

Although there are a variety of causes of Salmonellosis, most holidaymakers catch salmonella food poisoning on holiday by eating contaminated eggs, chicken, and milk. Fruit and shellfish can also become contaminated with salmonella through contact with faecal matter in the soil or from sewage in the water they’re washed in.

Holiday Salmonella

Contamination is also common if the same utensils are used for raw and cooked food. Some animals, including lizards can also carry the salmonella bug. Stray dogs and cats seen wandering around the hotel grounds and restaurants can occasionally become infected.

Food infected with the salmonella bug as will not look, smell, or taste any different to other food. However, poor hygiene in the hotel can increase the risk of contracting salmonella food poisoning.

Salmonella can spread from person-to-person by poor hygiene. Chefs and food handlers should be washing their hands after going to the toilet or handling raw food. This is an obvious risk that is easily avoided.

How do you make a claim for compensation for salmonella food poisoning?

The law allows you to claim compensation from the tour operator if you’ve suffered from salmonella on a package holiday.

The law says a holiday company or tour operator is responsible for the failings of the hotel, not just their own staff. There is a contract between you and the tour operator for the package holiday you bought from them.

Some tour operators send questionnaires to holidaymakers. We advise holidaymakers to seek advice from a qualified travel lawyer before completing them. The questionnaires are used to avoid responsibility in compensation claims and may be used as evidence against your claim.

Is it worth making a claim for food poisoning against my tour operator?

Yes. Compensation claims for food poisoning can be substantial, especially where holidaymakers go on to experience long term problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances and even arthritis.

If you have been ill for over 10 days and it can be shown that the tour operator has broken the contract, you may receive over £1,200 for your pain and suffering. The amount you could receive depends on the length of the illness, whether you have been hospitalised and whether you suffer from other things because of the illness.

Also, we can make a claim for several other losses, such as a loss of enjoyment where the whole holiday, or just part of it, has been ruined, and any costs that occur as a direct result of being ill.

When people pay so much money to tour operators for their dream holiday, the last thing you expect is to have the whole experience ruined by illness.

Holiday Hotel Watch

How long do the symptoms of salmonella food poisoning last?

Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhoea,
  • Stomach cramps,
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

It takes between 12 to 72 hours for these symptoms to develop after being infected with salmonella. In our experience, symptoms usually last at least 10 days. The hot weather abroad causes dehydration, and other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome are quite common.

How do you treat salmonella food poisoning?

Holidaymakers suffering from the symptoms of salmonella food poisoning are advised to drink plenty of water as diarrhoea or vomiting can lead to dehydration, especially in hot weather. Important sugars and minerals from the body can be lost, making the illness worse. Hotel doctors and GP’s may recommend a re-hydration solution, available from a local chemist.

Sometimes severe cases are treated with antibiotics but holidaymakers should be wary if treated by hotel doctors in Egypt, as some of the drugs used are not used in the UK because they cause side effects (i.e. Streptoquin).

Should holidaymakers stay off work or school following the holiday?

Holidaymakers who are still suffering from diarrhoea are still contagious. Children and adults should stay away from nursery, school or work for at least 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped.

If you work with children or the elderly, or if you handle food then you should advise your employer that you have been diagnosed with salmonella food poisoning.

What you can do now

If you are the victim of salmonella food poisoning and your holiday is ruined as a consequence, contact Simpson Millar LLP’s experienced and qualified lawyers for free initial advice. We are likely to be able to act for you on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.

Call us on 0808 145 1353 or complete the enquires form for further information.