A reason to avoid the buffet on your all-inclusive holiday

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It may seem appealing, piling as much food onto your plate from the buffet as you can while on an all-inclusive holiday.

But a new survey of British holidaymakers suggests you should avoid queuing up for exotic dishes that have been reheated. 

One in six people who’ve been on an all-inclusive holiday in the last three years have fallen ill, the poll revealed.

And two thirds – 77 per cent – suspect their sickness was directly attributable to the hotel they were staying in.

Holiday sickness compensation firms say most claims come from lavish resorts where food is left out for long periods of time on buffets, and then reheated.

One in six people who’ve been on an all-inclusive holiday in the last three years have fallen ill

The survey of 1,000 British holidays, commissioned by Sick Holiday, comes amid campaigns to halt ‘fraudulent’ claims for compensation.

The Association of British Travel Agents reported earlier this year that claims for holiday sickness compensation had risen six-fold since 2013.

This is despite sickness reports in resorts remaining stable and travellers from other countries not experiencing the same issues. 

But the new survey suggests that more of the holiday illness claims are genuine than given credit for.

Richard Conroy, founder of Sick Holiday, said: ‘Certain resorts, due to a lack of hygiene, are making scores of people unwell every year.

‘These new stats shed new light on that fact. It’s the same hotels, year after year, who crop up in our files.

‘There’s a lack of responsibility from British tour companies, who are failing to address the real problem.

HOW MANY PEOPLE CLAIM FOR HOLIDAY SICKNESS EACH YEAR?

Figures from Abta, which represents travel agents and tour operators, show that around 5.4 million Britons take an all-inclusive holiday each year.

The Claims Management Regulator and the Ministry of Justice say there are around 35,000 claims for holiday sickness per year. 

Abta claims one in five Britons has been approached about making a compensation claim for holiday sickness by cold callers.

The research was published six months after the Government announced plans to reduce the incentives of making such claims.

A major barrier to tackling the issue is that legal fees are not controlled, so costs for tour operators who fight cases can be out of proportion to the damages claimed.

Under Government proposals, travel firms would pay a prescribed sum depending on the value of the claim, making the cost of defending cases predictable.

Abta wants the measures to be in place by April so they are effective for the summer season.  

It released figures earlier this month that showed 70 per cent of adults are unaware that making a false claim could result in a prison sentence.

In October 2017, Deborah Briton and partner Paul Roberts, from Merseyside, were jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for making fraudulent claims.

Ms Briton was sentenced to nine months in prison and Mr Roberts was handed a 15-month jail term. 

‘They appear to show no compassion for their clients, and they are making people severely ill.’

Mr Conroy added: ‘Many of our claims come from all-inclusive resorts where food is left out for long periods of time on buffets, and then reheated.

‘Lukewarm food is a prime growing temperature for food poisoning. If it’s supposed to be cold, it should feel like a glass of water from the fridge. 

‘If it’s supposed to be hot, it should feel hot enough for you not to want to leave your finger in it. 

‘If your dish is neither of those two things – it’s a lovely lukewarm place where your finger feels “just right” – then you could end up with Salmonella or Campylobacter poisoning.’

The survey revealed 16 per cent of the respondents experienced sickness while abroad.

Of those, a third said they had been ‘unwell’ for at least two weeks.

Europe was highlighted as the number one destination for those falling poorly, with 57 per cent having been struck down on holiday there.

And 77 per cent of those struck down believe their illness was caught in the hotel, with food or drink taking the brunt of the blame.

Just 6 per cent thought their illness stemmed from ‘something they had eaten or drunk outside of the hotel’, the poll showed. 

Mr Conroy added: ‘There’s a crass lack of responsibility from British tour companies.

‘Take a look at resorts like Dubai – there has never been severe food poisoning there, purely because they have very high standards of hygiene.

‘If this industry was entirely fraudulent, we’d see lots of cases coming from places like Dubai, a destination popular with British tourists but we don’t as it is simply not happening.  

‘And the only reason there has been growth in this sector at all is because there’s greater awareness that holidaymakers can claim when they’ve been made poorly.

‘The reality is gross negligence, putting people into hotels which are serving unhygienic food unfit for human consumption.’ 

COUPLE JAILED FOR MAKING FAKE HOLIDAY SICKNESS CLAIMS IN A LANDMARK CASE

A couple were jailed for making fake holiday sickness claims in a landmark case back in October.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Deborah Briton, 53, and partner Paul Roberts, 43, tried to claim compensation by stating they and their two children had fallen ill on holidays to Majorca in 2015 and 2016.

But the couple’s social media showed posts where they boasted of holidays full of ‘sun, laughter and fun’.

Briton sobbed as she was sentenced to nine months in prison after admitting four counts of fraud in the private prosecution, brought by holiday company Thomas Cook.

Roberts, who was sentenced to 15 months after admitting the same offences, cried and shook in the court throughout the hearing on Friday.

Family members, including Briton’s daughter Charlene, who had initially been charged with two counts of fraud which were later dropped, shouted out in court as the couple were sent down. 

Deborah Briton, 53, and partner Paul Roberts, 43, were jailed for making fake holiday sickness claims in a landmark case back in October

Deborah Briton, 53, and partner Paul Roberts, 43, were jailed for making fake holiday sickness claims in a landmark case back in October





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