‘We closely audit all resorts’ Campy ruins UK couple’s holiday

A Heanor holidaymaker is taking legal action against a travel company after he contracted food poisoning which turned birthday celebration into a “nightmare.”

traditional-food-stallJames Gratton, 51, and his wife Paula, 50 were staying in a four star hotel in Marrakech, Morocco when he ate incorrectly prepared poultry which gave him Campylobacter.

James, a HGV driver, said: “We booked this holiday as a way of celebrating my birthday and we’d been looking forward to it for a long time.

“But, in truth, it turned into a nightmare for both of us.

“I suffered terrible symptoms at the hotel, during our flight home and when I got back to the UK. The illness meant half the holiday was ruined for both of us.

“I had to take some extra time of work to recover from the symptoms and I still don’t feel completely right.

“We hope that by taking legal action we’ll find out what caused me to fall ill and how I came to test positive for Campylobacter.

“What was supposed to be an enjoyable and relaxing trip turned into a bit of a nightmare and spoilt what should have been a celebratory holiday.”

A First Choice spokesperson said: “First Choice is sorry to hear of Mr and Mrs Gratton’s experience.

“As this is now subject to legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.

“We closely audit all resorts to which we operate to ensure that health, hygiene and comfort levels are maintained in line with industry standards.”

£1.7m for Turkish holiday nightmare families

The owners of the Holiday Village resort in Sarigerme were ordered by the High Court in London yesterday to pay a group settlement, which will see more than 160 children and 435 adults who stayed at the hotel receive holidayvillage_turkeydamages of up to £25,000 each.

More than 400 holidaymakers suffered gastric illness during the summer of 2009, with more than 100 contracting infections such as Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Campylobacter and E.coli.

A further 150 did not suffer illness themselves, but had their holidays affected by the sickness of family, friends or other guests staying at the hotel.

Holidaymakers reported seeing feces floating in swimming pools, while some food was seen to be undercooked and left uncovered for long periods. Crockery and cutlery in the restaurant was often found to be dirty and public toilets were grubby and had no hot water.

Some travellers were so ill they needed hospital treatment at the resort, while others still had to be treated after they returned to the UK.

First Choice said that it did not comment on settlement payouts.

Risk comparisons are risky, and sick people are not statistics

Some 1,200 people have, according to legal-types in the U.K., been sickened after staying at the First Choice-owned Holiday Village Turkey resort since 2005.

Although First Choice has paid out over £100,000 to 34 claimants who stayed at the hotel in 2005 and 2007, solicitors say it has "refused to accept responsibility" over more recent cases.

First Choice said they were in negotiations with the law firm to resolve the issue amicably and couldn’t comment further, but they did manage to keep talking and do further damage:

"First Choice would like to take this opportunity to assure all its customers that we closely audit all the resorts to which we operate, including the Holiday Village Turkey, to ensure that health, hygiene and comfort levels are maintained.

"Reports of sickness in 2010 were minimal; in particular, out of the 46,000 customers who have stayed there this year, only 0.42 per cent have reported minor ailments such as a mild stomach upset.

"This figure is extremely low, and has been substantiated by the Health Protection Agency, who have confirmed that they have received no reports of infection at the property this year.”

Telling 193 paying customers that their barfing was a statistical anomaly isn’t going to win future customers. And won’t help in court.

Vacationing Brits sue after salmonella sickness in Turkey

A group of 107 angry travellers say they fell ill after eating under-cooked food and using a swimming pool contaminated by human waste at Sarigerme Holiday Village in Dalaman, Turkey in 2009.

The group is suing First Choice Holidays and Flights for compensation.

A High Court writ claims buffet food was lukewarm and items like chicken were not cooked properly.

Flies and wasps also allegedly infested food areas and a pool had human waste in it.

Last night a First Choice spokeswoman said their lawyers are in talks with a no-win no-fee legal firm to resolve the case.

"We closely audit all the resorts to which we operate, including the Holiday Village Turkey, to ensure that health, hygiene and comfort levels are maintained."

Bulgarian holiday from hell for UK family

In July 2008, Amanda Lakin took her 12 and 13-year-old sons and her 75-year-old mother, who had battled cancer, on an all-inclusive trip from the U.K. to the Royal Park Hotel, Bulgaria.

The family faced dead flies on food in the buffet, which staff seemed reluctant to throw away, and birds sat feeding off the buffet.

“I also saw staff filling the water bottles, which we all took drinks from, with the hose they used to water the garden. There was the most appalling lack of hygiene everywhere.”

After several days Miss Lakin made it down to the reception where she was stunned by what she found.

“It was like a film, there was so many sick people. There was little kids being carried by parents with drips coming out of their arms. I’ve never seen anything like it. Everyone was trying to get help.”

Law firm Irwin Mitchell is taking legal action on behalf of 276 clients against First Choice after it denied responsibility for the outbreak of illness suffered by guests between June and October 2008.

The firm has already successfully recovered a substantial settlement for 95 holidaymakers who fell ill at the resort in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

The Bulgarian currency is the lev. Amy’s got a bunch for sale on craigslist.