Holiday from hell sparks compensation claim

11:29 24 June 2010

The Holiday Village Red Sea

The Holiday Village Red Sea

Archant

Holidaymakers struck down by illness are suing for compensation.

DOZENS of holidaymakers whose holidays in Egypt were ruined by salmonella and C difficile bugs are suing for compensation.

They include Nicholas St John, 41, and Meral St John, 29, and children Ella, three, and Shae, two, of Ashdown Road, and Amanda Thomson, 27, Vera Thomas, 56, and Gracie Wan, two, of Wellington Road, both Stevenage.

They are among more than 80 people who have joined together to sue Tui Travel plc, trading as First Choice Holidays, over their stays at the all inclusive Holiday Village Red Sea in Sharm el Sheikh between May 2008 and January 2009.

Most of the claimants suffered from gastro intestinal illness, including vomiting and diarrhoea, while some developed salmonella and C difficile, according to a writ issued at London’s High Court.

They blame their illnesses on food and drink supplied by the hotel, and accuse First Choice of negligence alleging they failed to ensure reasonable skill and care was used in preparing food and drink, and to ensure infection was eliminated.

First Choice, they say, failed to monitor sickness among guests and staff, failed to ensure staff were trained to use hygienic and internationally accepted methods of food preparation, including regular hand washing, wearing gloves, separate hand and food washing facilities, and separate utensils for different types of food.

They accuse hotel staff of failing to cook food properly, leaving food uncovered, failing to keep insects and flies away from the buffet, serving chicken, meatballs and burgers which were raw and uncooked, and failed to ensure cold food was appropriately refrigerated and cooked food served hot.

Not all kitchen and servery staff wore gloves, and drinks were served in unwashed glasses, goods were stored at the wrong temperature, and public toilets were dirty, it is alleged.

Staff failed to clean vomit and faeces from the restaurant floor efficiently and in a hygienic way, and fished faeces out of the swimming pool with a net while other guests, unaware of the accident, kept on swimming, according to the writ.

Bottled water was served in previously opened bottles, and guests were exposed to a reasonably foreseeable and easily avoided risk of illness, the writ claims.

The holidaymakers complain that a food hygiene and sanitation audit in 2008 showed problems with flies, missing knife holders, uncovered bins, missing soap, crowded and untidy stock in the dry store and poultry area of the walk in freezer, and chefs not using gloves.

Their legal team says First Choice has not accepted liability for its suppliers’ negligence through the booking conditions.

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