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Simpson Millar LLP take a deeper look into the Health Protection Agency and report which details some of the most common illnesses contracted abroad by holidaymakers
Last year’s outbreak of Salmonella Enteritides which was traced eggs in a shed in Spain sent a warning sign that days of people contracting food poisoning whilst on holiday in places such as Majorca, the Canary Islands and the Spanish Costas have still not gone away.
The risk of contracting harmful germs at holiday resorts in Spain still remains one that overseas traveller’s should be wary about.
The Health Protection Agency’s (HPA) fascinating 2007 insight into food poisoning and traveller’s diarrhoea by destination showed that in 2005 Spain was the top destination for people returning from holiday with Salmonella, Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium. It should be emphasised, however, that the HPA were keen to point out the high levels of illness was reflective of the large amount of people that travelled there.
In their latest report the HPA reported that Spain had dropped to fifth place overall for people suffering from laboratory confirmed gastric illness. The report showed there were 136 cases of Salmonella found in the stool samples of people that had holidays to Spain - versus Egypt with 331 cases. However, Spain was still the top destination people contracting Cryptosporidium which is usually associated with infected swimming pool water.
The possibility of people contracting food poisoning in Spain has clearly not gone away then. A 2010 study revealed that up to 6.5% of Spanish eggs contained salmonella as opposed to a far smaller percentage of eggs from the UK.
Simpson Millar Solicitors have a specialist department that help people claim compensation for food poisoning contracted in Spain. Their own data shows that while they are helping more people that have travelled to places such as Egypt and Turkey, food poisoning type illnesses in Spain are still prevalent.
In 2010 a family of 3 contracted Cryptosporidium following their stay at a hotel in Gran Canaria and made a successful holiday compensation claim for the water-borne illness against the UK tour operator. In 2011 there were cases involving families whose young children tested positive for cryptosporidium following a stay at an all-inclusive holiday resort in Lanzarote featured by First Choice. Surprisingly Menorca is also generating cases of food poisoning – Simpson Millar are helping people who came back from the Balearic Island with salmonella and amoebic dysentery.
Simpson Millar advise that in the majority of instances of cases that they deal with, there is usually someone or an organisation at fault for the spread of infections in places like Spain. For example, Salmonella and Campylobacter can be eradicated through adopting high standards of food hygiene. Holidaymakers should also take their own precautions to avoid traveller’s diarrhoea – including checking food is well cooked or well refrigerated and regular hand washing before meals.
Tour Operators as well have obligations under the Package Holiday Regulations to ensure that the hotels they feature act with reasonable skill and care. This will entail checking that the chefs and kitchen staff are well trained and there are systems in place to reduce illness – stock rotation – temperature checking etc.
If you were unlucky to have become ill on a Spanish package holiday, Simpson Millar may be able to help you make a claim for food poisoning against your tour operator. They can be contacted today for a free consultation.
by S. C.
04 june 2012, World News > Europe