4th May 2016 BREAKING NEWS:
Is Mexico 2016’s Salmonella Hotspot?
By James Blower
Senior Holiday Claims Solicitor
Mexico is a destination that is extremely popular with British tourists and according to UK Government statistics over 424,000 British tourists visited in 2014. Holidaymakers often choose to head to Mexico for the all year round warm temperatures, guaranteed sunshine during the winter and summer seasons and of course to experience the culture and food.
Anxiety over travel to Egypt has been increasing following terrorist attacks in the region, particular after a Russian aircraft full of passengers was downed soon after leaving Sharm El Sheikh. This has caused British tourists to look further afield for alternative destinations and with a warm climate and resorts offering great value; Mexico has proven to be the perfect alternative.
Mexico though is not without its own problems and at times the country has earned itself a reputation as a Salmonella holiday hotspot, with several high profile outbreaks affecting hotels.
Salmonella Outbreaks in Mexico
We have helped many British tourists who have stayed at Mexican resorts and suffered from Salmonella. Salmonella food poisoning can cause severe symptoms such as diarrhoea (which can often be bloody and watery), stomach cramps, headaches, fever and nausea, that will inevitably curtail the enjoyment of your holiday, including the enjoyment of your family and friends.
We monitor hotels and resorts around the world for Salmonella outbreaks, including the following hotels in Mexico:
- Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites and Spa Resort
- Royal Decameron Complex
- Sensimar Seaside Suites and Spa
- Villa Premiere
- Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
With an incubation period of 6 to 72 hours, symptoms of Salmonellosis usually manifest within 12 and 36 hours meaning that you might not display the signs of infection until you have returned home, but we often find that people experience symptoms early on in their holiday, meaning that they miss out on much of their well-earned break.
What Causes a Salmonella Outbreak?
In our experience Salmonellosis is often contracted by infants, young children and the elderly on holiday, however adults aren’t immune to the disease and can suffer the symptoms just as easily. Large scale outbreaks of Salmonella at all-inclusive hotels in Mexico are often widely publicised, and when food poisoning is the cause of infection this is usually due to inadequate preparation allowing Salmonella bacteria to survive on the plates of guests.
Large outdoor barbeques are popular at all-inclusive Mexican hotels, but eating meat that hasn’t been thoroughly cooked at one of these events can lead to food poisoning. Undercooked meat or meat that has been handled incorrectly by serving staff is a common cause of Salmonella in Mexico, with chicken and pork commonly causing issues. Holidaymakers in Mexico should pay particular attention to eggs and ensure that they are cooked through properly as they are a common source of the Salmonella infection.
Food served at an all-inclusive buffet can also cause infection if it has not been served at the correct temperature or has been left uncovered for an extended period of time.
Hotel employees can also cause cross-contamination to occur by not keeping cooked and raw food separate. Person-to-person infection can also occur where people do not thoroughly wash their hands and faecal particles are spread by the faecal-oral route.
Our Travel Law Specialists Can Help
It’s understandable that you’ll be disappointed and angry that your holiday in Mexico has been ruined by Salmonella food poisoning, and you’ll likely feel let down by your tour operator. If you booked a regulated package holiday, then we can help you to claim compensation.
Can You Make a Claim?
- Have you been on holiday in Mexico recently?
- Did you suffer an illness while abroad or following your return home to the UK?
- Did you book a regulated package holiday with a UK tour operator?
If you answered ‘YES‘ to these questions then our team of specialist travel solicitors may be able to help you to take action against your tour operator, and win the compensation that you’re entitled to.
Tour Operators that sell package holidays to Mexico have a responsibility to ensure that you do not become ill as a result of any aspect of your break abroad that they sold to you. This applies to all tour operators that offer regulated package holidays, meaning that regardless of whether you booked with First Choice, Thomson or another UK tour operator, under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you can sue them if you suffered an illness abroad.
Advice on Making a Claim
If you have suffered from Salmonella while on holiday in Mexico there are a number of useful tips to bear in mind, should you be considering making a compensation claim against your tour operator.
- Exchange contact details with other holidaymakers staying at the hotel who were also ill as they can support your claim with their evidence and you could potentially pursue a group action against the tour operator.
- Make and register your complaint with the tour operator representative while still abroad if you become ill.
- Seek medical treatment either whilst in resort or when you return home in the UK and keep a record of any diagnosis, treatment and medical costs that you have incurred.
- Speak to a travel law specialist at Simpson Millar for free legal advice and assistance with making a claim.
Limitations on Claiming Compensation
Adults usually have three years from the date of the onset of their illness to make a compensation claim, so don’t delay and contact us today. We offer ‘no win no fee‘ terms, meaning that we won’t take a penny from you for our services unless we are successful in winning your compensation award.