By Paul Stevens
Group Travel Litigation Claims Manager
Guests at the Gran Castillo Tagoro in Lanzarote have reported that they’ve been subjected to questionable hygiene standards, including several reports of a problem with flies in the hotel restaurants, which may have caused some families to get sick on holiday.
Gran Castillo Tagoro in Lanzarote
The Gran Castillo Tagoro is sold on an all-inclusive basis by UK tour operator Jet2 Holidays. Located in the ever popular Playa Blanca region of Lanzarote, this Canary Islands hotel is advertised as featuring a selection of restaurants to choose from, but from recent online reviews, it looks like hygiene issues are causing problems for guests.
Reports of hygiene issues and illness on holiday
Disappointed holidaymakers have taken to TripAdvisor to complain about the standards at the Gran Castillo Tagoro where they say that in addition to concerns about the standards of hygiene, there’s a big problem with flies in their restaurants.
Lochgelly holidaymaker ‘CraigDempsey’ stayed at the Gran Castillo Tagoro in November and says that “the worst bit without a doubt was the food“, continuing to say that while it was “really well presented” it was “put out in huge volumes” and “there was no way it could be consumed in [one] sitting” resulting in it being “recycled and incorporated into the next few days dishes“.
He continues to say that “flies were all over everything“, “nothing was hot enough” and “even the fresh cooked food such as steak and fish was left in huge trays with no consideration for hygiene.”
‘CraigDempsey’ says that his “girls were really sick after eating in the Italian” and after speaking to another family, he found that they had become ill after eating there on the same night. He says that along his family were “very sick and aching all over” and “stuck to strange tasting soup, bread and chips” for the rest of the holiday to avoid the “risk [of] another round of sickness.”
‘Becky M’ was also a guest in November and says that they “only managed to enjoy 2 days out of 7” of their holiday due “to getting really sick after eating at [the] Italian restaurant” She says that all 4 members of her holiday party were affected, including their “little boy [who covered their] room in sick“.
‘Derek G’ was also a guest at the Gran Castillo Tagoro in November and says that he experienced problems with flies, saying that “they were everywhere, none of the food was covered and all the salad, sweets etc. were covered in flies” with “no sign of any pest control“. He also says that “the cutlery was always dirty and every cup seemed to be stained.”
Travelling with her partner, ‘michelle k’ was a guest in November and says that “the main restaurant was where my main issue was” and again they found that the “flies are everywhere” with “no sign of any blue lights to get rid of them” and “raw meat left out behind the chefs for 2/3 [hours] in the heat” with the “flies on it too“.
She adds that they were the “first in for breakfast and all the crumbs under the bread baskets from the evening before [were] still there” and “the toaster [was] filthy“. Another issue she encountered was that the waiting staff were “slow to clear away tables“.
Burnham-on-Sea holidaymaker, ‘chantmarle’ also stayed in November and says that the “restaurant areas are plagued with flies” which are “all over the food“, and although the hoteliers appear to have “placed out natural fly killers next to food areas“; ‘chantmarle’ says that they are “pretty ineffective.”
Recycling meals can save costs but damage health
Recycling meals is a dangerous practice that hotel restaurants can partake in, usually in order to cut costs. While you might consider running the risk of heating leftovers at home, in a hotel kitchen environment which should be following HACCP guidelines this is unacceptable. Reheating food can encourage any bacteria or parasites that have naturally found their way to a meal to multiply, even if that meal is reheated thoroughly.
Errors during food prep can cause problems
Food preparation in a hotel kitchen is one of the common areas that hygiene errors can occur, and one such error is the improper cooking of meals. In the event that high-risk produce such as chicken isn’t cooked thoroughly enough or is served at dangerously low temperatures; bacteria can survive the cooking process and begin to multiply, potentially resulting in a bout of food poisoning and a ruined holiday.
Disease spreading flies should be prevented
Flies are a menace in food preparation and dining areas, as they’re capable of contaminating food with infected faecal matter simply by landing on it for a second or two. Their presence in warmer countries can be problematic, but hoteliers should still be taking steps to keep them away from the meals they serve, particularly in buffet restaurants. While this can be achieved through natural deterrents, keeping food covered with lids or installing bug zappers can be more effective.
Lack of cleanliness in a hotel restaurant is unacceptable
Cleanliness is often one of the biggest warning signs that something is amiss with the hygiene of a hotel restaurant, especially if you find remnants left by the previous day’s diners. Discarded food can provide harmful bacteria and parasites with the ideal breeding ground, essentially becoming another way that you could become unwell, and one that can be prevented.
As the purveyor of your package holiday, it is the responsibility of your tour operator to ensure that all aspects of your all-inclusive holiday will not cause you to come to harm, and this includes ensuring that the food that hotel kitchens are provided with is fit for human consumption.
Claim holiday illness compensation
If you’ve become unwell on an all-inclusive package holiday where you witnessed any of these hygiene errors, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you could be entitled to claim compensation, our travel law specialists can advise you within minutes if you’re able to make a claim, and if we represent you we can do so on a ‘no win no fee‘ basis.