Have you suffered from food poisoning or illness while abroad?
My name is Richard Conroy and I am head of food science at Sickholiday.com.
As a food scientist I find it totally unacceptable that preventable diseases are prevalent in many resorts throughout the world.
If we compare two resorts that are very similar in terms of climate and food served such as Dubai versus Egypt, there is a very clear difference in the number of reported illnesses from each of them. These countries are parallel in terms of cooking methods and social tradition as well as food supply chains and even the hygienic state of the currency used. However, keep in mind that this common myth of currency being the cause and reason behind the spread of disease is far from the truth. The only clear difference between these two countries is the number of reported illnesses coming from them. This is purely down to the structures in place to prevent the spread of such diseases. Dubai has enforced a robust health and safety system with hygiene as a number one priority, issuing large fines and even prison sentences to offenders.
Compare this with Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, where the weak system they have in place is currently failing and this can be seen by the amount of tourists falling ill whilst on holiday there. In theory, with such similarities between the two countries, the resulting spread of disease should also be similar. It would not be too bold to say that you would expect more illness to originate from Dubai due to the massive difference in population and the huge amount of tourists visiting the country. It is down to nothing more than the systems in place and the consequences faced by those who oppose those systems.
In effect, from the information we have gathered, you are over 500 times more likely to contract food poisoning in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt than you are in Dubai.
One of the great ways to force action is to take it. If the illness suffered by travellers does not affect the tour operator’s cash flow or reputation then why should they change? By actively spreading awareness and ensuring these tour operators except responsibility for their actions, it will inevitably cause them to change their ways. In the long run it will force such tour operators to channel their considerable power and resources into cleaning up the hotels they are placing tourists in.
It is your tour operator’s responsibility to make sure you are provided with a safe, clean and hygienic hotel.
If you have fallen ill whilst on an all-inclusive holiday then get in touch with a member of our team. We have over 10 years of industry experience and we will be happy to help you through the process of claiming back the cost of your holiday plus any additional compensation you may be owed.