Claire Rabbetts – Holiday Accident and Illness Claims Specialist

By Claire Rabbetts

Holiday Accident and Illness Claims Specialist

Sick holidaymakers report that they’ve suffered the symptoms of a Salmonella infection during their stay at the Hotel Playa Pesquero in Cuba, where guest reviews point towards the possibility of an outbreak.

The Hotel Playa Pesquero in Cuba

The Hotel Playa Pesquero is located in the popular Holguin region of Cuba and advertised by UK tour operator Thomas Cook. This all-inclusive hotel features swimming pools, activities, bars and restaurants that should make it the ideal choice for any British tourist wanting to travel to Cuba, but recent reports suggest that there may be a problem with Salmonella at the Hotel Playa Pesquero.

Reports of a possible Salmonella outbreak

While there have been a few positive reviews of the Hotel Playa Pesquero since we last reported on illness at the Cuban resort, there have been recent complaints from guests who suggest that there is still a problem at the Playa Pesquero.

In their review titled “Salmonella Infection going through resort. Feb 2017“, ‘davenjess26’ who stayed at the Playa Pesquero this February, and while they have praise for the hotel, they comment that the food was cold and say that on the “third day [of the holiday their] aunt was sick“.

Following medical treatment, they discovered that “6 other people were [receiving intravenous] fluids due to the same [condition that their] aunt was [experiencing].” They continue to say that “they met a group of 17 people” and “8 more were sick in the same way [that] she was.

She also says that “a poor woman messed herself on the plane home” and they have encountered more people suffering the same illness at their local hospital. ‘davenjess26’ explains that since being in the hospital they “finally got an answer” to what had caused this debilitating holiday illness, and it was a “Salmonella infection from chicken“.

Aylesbury holidaymaker ‘chilmark’ was also a guest at the Playa Pesquero in February, and he says that they stayed at the Cuban hotel as a “96 strong party” and since being “back [home for] between 4-5 days […] many of the group still have stomach bugs“. He comments that “the food hygiene is awful“, the “food was at best warm” and was mostly “left out to the elements“, adding that there were “birds flying around inside many of the restaurants and doing what birds do, including coming down and pecking at unattended food“.

He continues to say that he witnessed “the same food utensils [being] used for uncooked food as [well as] cooked food“, and that “during [their] 2 week stay […] between 50-60 of [their] group went down with food related stomach pain” and “some ended up in the Doctors on drips” which was “full of people with stomach upsets“.

‘Catseyes2017’ also stayed at the Play Pesquero in February, and she explains that she experienced “poor hygiene and cross-contamination of raw and cooked meats” which she believes “resulted in a salmonella outbreak.” She says that the “food was cold and so many people [had] to see the hotel doctor” and ended “up on drips [due to] dehydration.

Portsmouth holidaymaker ‘sandybeachhampshire’ stayed at the Playa Pesquero in January, and she says that she is “so disappointed with this hotel“, stating that she “watched so many people get sick due to the lack of attention to food hygiene“. She continues to say that “after 8 days” she “booked into the premium side at another premium cost” in an effort to “to preserve [her] health“, explaining that “if you stay in the premium side” you are “guaranteed [to spend] at least 4 days of your holiday in your room due to sickness“, as well as “a couple of visits to the doctor.

The harmful effects of Salmonella

Undercooked food can be very hazardous to your health as harmful bacteria and parasites could survive an inadequate cooking process, resulting in a nasty bout of food poisoning. Chicken is commonly known to be a contributor to this problem, and if it’s still pink in the middle, it’s possible that it contains the Salmonella pathogen.

Undercooked chicken, Salmonella and holiday illness

Salmonellosis is a condition caused by the Salmonella bacteria that can result in symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting and fever, or to put it another way; it’s enough to ruin your holiday. Thankfully the spread of Salmonella can be prevented by kitchen team members who follow effective hygiene processes such as HACCP.

Birds can spread holiday illness

Birds are another potential holiday hygiene concern, as they can spread disease, and not just through their droppings. While bird faeces is known to be highly toxic, it’s less well known that they can spread diseases by landing on meals, pecking at buffets, or just flying over or perching close to them.

While it can be difficult to deter birds from a hotel restaurant, there are many different methods available to hoteliers, and due to the health risk that they present, there’s no excuse for these steps not to be taken.

Cross-contamination and sick hotel guests

Another hygiene blunder that can result in sick hotel guests is cross-contamination, which occurs when the same utensils are used to handle raw and cooked produce. In some instances, cross-contamination can transfer bacteria and parasites, undoing the good work done by thorough cooking.

Claim compensation for your holiday illness

If your holiday was ruined by illness caused by a hygiene error that could have been prevented, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992, you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.

Our travel law specialists can advise you within minutes if you’re able to make a claim, and we can also advise you of the amount of compensation you should pursue as part of a free no-obligation consultation. We offer ‘no win no fee‘ terms to our clients, so don’t hesitate to talk to us about your case.

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about claiming for illness at the Hotel Playa Pesquero in Cuba; contact us by completing our enquiry form, call us on 0808 145 1353 or visit our On Holiday Claims website.