If I get food poisoning on holiday, what do I do?

As the summer holidays are quickly approaching, many families are headed abroad for glorious family package holidays. Package holidays are great, saving busy families money and the headaches of organizing a holiday – with all-inclusive options making the trip a truly relaxing experience for parents and fun for the kids.

Unfortunately though, if hygiene practices in the hotel in which you’re staying are not up to scratch, the all-inclusive buffet that seems so convenient, can ruin your stay. Bacteria such as e-coli or salmonella when ingested through contaminated food can make you and your family sick.

In Britain, this has become a contentious subject, British vacation travelers abroad have been threatened with bans and rising vacation costs – although this has not yet happened. These measures have been proposed to stem the flow of fraudulent food poisoning claims against travel operators. However, just because operators are rightly fighting false claims, those with genuine cases are becoming scared of lodging a claim in case they are prosecuted for fraud.

If you have spent money on your holiday though, you deserve good quality. Falling sick can make your well-earned break stressful and upsetting, particularly if your children fall sick. So if you do fall ill and suspect it is food poisoning due to the hotel’s negligence, there are a few steps you can take if you want to be able to make a food poisoning claim when you return home:

Do you actually have food poisoning?

Food poisoning is caused by contaminated food or water. However, food poisoning is not the only cause of sickness when you are on holiday. Too much alcohol, unfamiliar foods or dehydration are very common causes of illness in British holidaymakers.

This is why, if you are sick, it is important to take reasonable steps when you are on holiday.

Take reasonable steps

Your tour operator will expect you to lodge a complaint with your hotel if you fall sick and believe it is due to food poisoning. While the bacterium is present in your body, visiting a local doctor to have a sample test can help you should you wish to raise a claim later on.

Gather evidence

If you can see evidence of poor hygiene practices, take photos or videos as this will help you to prove your claim when you get home.

Most importantly, if you are ill, take care of yourself and stay hydrated so you can return to the fun of your holiday as soon as possible.


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