A bout of food poisoning is the preferred excuse for celebrities too hungover to perform (see the celebrity barf section of barfblog.com).
But now, the country whose contributions to international cuisine have been mushy peas and mad cow disease, the country whose regulators say with a straight face to cook meat until it’s piping hot, is now saying that Brits abroad who fake food poisoning on holiday to get compensation will now face jail as tour operators crack down on a multi-million pound con.
I have no idea how true any of this is, and sounds more like company PR, but according to The Sun, travel firm Abta claims cowboy firms are telling holidaymakers that they won’t be prosecuted if they falsely claim to be unwell.
They even bombard returning Brits with cold calls and messages on social media asking to submit sickness compensation claims following their holiday.
In the past 18 months, UK holidaymakers submitted almost 4,000 sickness claims.
That compares to just 114 from Germans and 39 Scandinavians.
But penalties for those found to be lying include a fine, criminal record and potential imprisonment either in the UK or in the destination of their holiday.
Since spring last year, there have been 15 times more illness claims made to travel firm Tui.
It’s after tens of thousands of UK holidaymakers claimed they had got food poisoning while on holiday across the globe.
Abta’s chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Holidaymakers need to understand that making a fraudulent claim will have consequences.
“People tempted to fabricate holiday sickness in order to make a claim should be aware that this is a crime and that they risk ending up in jail either in the UK or abroad.”
A government initiative plans to wipe out rogue companies encouraging Brits to make fake claims.
Last month it emerged the Ministry of Justice had issued six warnings and got six cowboy websites taken down.
Save the poop and get it tested.