Holiday Illness Claims

Illness on holiday not only causes physical sickness, but can also ruin your holiday and result in financial loss to you.

If you have suffered illness or food poisoning while on a package holiday due to the food and drink provided by the hotel, the state of the swimming pool or due to the hotel being dirty then you may entitled to make a claim.

The tour operator is responsible for ensuring that their supplier hotels overseas take reasonable care and skill to provide food and drink that is safe to consume and will not make you ill. They also have to try and ensure that the hotel swimming pool and other areas of your holiday accommodation are clean and hygienic.

Where the tour operator fails to meet this duty and you suffer illness as a result, such as due to contaminated food and drink provided by your hotel, then they can be held responsible.

Causes, Treatment and Symptoms   

The main cause of food poisoning is eating contaminated food. Symptoms start within 1-5 days after consumption and the main symptoms are; sickness, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting. Contamination is most likely found in food such as; poultry, raw meat, and dairy products such as eggs and milk. Food poisoning is very common, but it usually goes once plenty of fluids are consumed, after a period of rest, and if easily digested foods are eaten following the illness. If more serious symptoms last more than a few days, medical attention may be needed and this could involve taking a short course of antibiotics.

Our specialist holiday illness claims solicitors are experienced in handling gastric illness claims on holiday and also where the illness is found to have been due to a virus, or a specific bacterial infection such as:


Salmonella is a type of bacteria usually found in poultry, milk, eggs, and water. Salmonella can also be carried by animals (turtles and birds) and rodents.

Symptoms of salmonella include; diarrhoea, headaches, stomach cramps, vomiting, and fever. Salmonella usually clears up within around 7 days but a course of antibiotics may be needed for more serious cases. Rehydration is essential to ensure a full recovery.

Salmonella can be prevented by ensuring cleanliness and making sure that food is cooked thoroughly.  This holiday illness can be officially diagnosed through a stool sample.


Symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting, and diarrhoea. This can lead to the further complication of dehydration. Gastroenteritis is very infectious and can be transmitted through poor hygiene, touching contaminated objects or eating contaminated food. Symptoms usually resolve within few days, but if a seriously ill or vulnerable person were to get this illness then hospitalisation may be needed for rehydration.

This holiday illness can be officially diagnosed through stool sample.


E-coli is commonly found within the intestines of healthy individuals with no problems or harm. However, certain strains of e-coli exist in certain countries abroad which can cause illness.

E-coli is predominantly caused by contaminated food such as; undercooked beef, unpasteurised milk and juice, cheese, raw fruit and vegetables, contaminated water, and animals, especially if hands are not washed afterwards.

Symptoms of e-coli poisoning include severe bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Symptoms usually resolve within 1 week and it is important to rehydrate to ensure a full recovery.  In some cases, e-coli poisoning can cause long-term health problems such as; kidney damage, paralysis, blindness and fatalities.

This holiday illness can be officially diagnosed through stool sample.


Legionnaire’s disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by bacteria and it some instances it can be fatal. Legionnaires disease can effect anyone, however, certain people are more vulnerable (over age 45, smokers, heavy drinkers, people with respiratory and kidney disease and anyone with impaired immune system). Legionnaire’s disease can be contracted from ventilation units and other systems where water is maintained at high enough temperature to encourage growth (e.g. spa pools, cooling towers, & hot water systems).

Legionnaire’s disease is contracted by inhaling small water droplets which contain the bacteria. Symptoms of this illness are similar to flu (i.e. temperature, fever, cough, muscle pains, headache and confusion).


Cryptosporidium is a parasite that infects the gut and can also cause forms of gastroenteritis that cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Cryptosporidium is usually spread through contact with water, food or surfaces that have been infected by contaminated faeces. Symptoms usually resolve in couple of weeks but can take longer. The easiest way to resolve this parasite is through rehydration.

This holiday illness can be officially diagnosed through stool sample.

Norovirus (commonly known as winter vomiting bug)

Norovirus is an extremely contagious illness and it is transferred through contaminated food or water and person to person contact. Symptoms of norovirus include; nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and sometimes, headaches, lethargy and muscles ache. Norovirus usually occurs in closed environments such as hotels and cruise ships, as the virus can survive for several days on surfaces or objects touched by an infected person. Rehydration is essential and the virus usually resolves in a couple of days.

We appreciate that symptoms from the above can be serious and can sometimes even lead to reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue type conditions with long term repercussions.

We work in conjunction with leading gastroenterologist and microbiologist experts, to bring claims for holiday illness as effectively and expediently as possible. We will try and recover the highest level of compensation that you may be entitled to.

Regulations – Package Holiday Claims

In order to pursue a holiday illness claim, it must be considered as a package holiday. In which case, your claim can be bought under the Package Travel Regulations, Regulation 2.

The official definition of a package holiday is ‘a pre-arranged combination of 2 of following components; transport, accommodation, other tourist services (not ancillary to transport or accommodation).’

Useful information

  • It is useful to do a food diary of what was eaten pre and post the date of contamination.
  • With regards to food poisoning, it is important to consider whether other members of family were ill and what they ate.
  • To make a claim we will require documentation such as report forms, booking documents and complaints made etc.

Call one of our specialist holiday illness claim solicitors today for a free assessment, so we can advise you whether you have a potential claim for compensation.