Frequently Asked Questions
Can I claim for food poisoning on holiday?
If you had food poisoning on a package holiday, then you most likely can. But your claim must meet certain criteria in order if we’re to pursue it for you.
If you’re reading this then you have most likely suffered from food poisoning while on holiday or upon your return to the UK.
Your holiday will have been booked through a UK-based tour operator and will be an all-inclusive holiday. If you ate outside of the hotel or resort during your stay, this will more than likely mean that your claim cannot be pursued, as it isn’t clear that your hotel or holiday provider is definitely responsible for your illness.
We will also ask several other questions about your holiday, illness, your hotel and any medical treatment you received in order to clarify if you have a reasonable claim for food poisoning. You can find out more in our 10 step claim process.
Should I make a food poisoning claim?
It is purely your decision whether or not you pursue a food poisoning claim. We can help inform you as to whether you have a potentially successful case and we can help you to pursue a claim if you wish. We will never force you to pursue a claim you don’t want to pursue. We also advise that you are not pressured into making a claim by friends or family unaffected by the illness you suffered while on holiday.
If you fell ill and if you are still recovering, claiming for food poisoning on holiday could help with the financial difficulty you may be facing and the disappointment of your ruined holiday.
You may be concerned about making a claim due to recent reports in the media suggesting some British holidaymakers are engaging in fraudulent claims, or that making such claims may increase the costs of future holidays as legal costs are passed onto the consumer. Your Legal Friend is a Law Society Accredited law firm and we do not support or associate with the minority of companies that engage in unscrupulous practices. We have a thorough vetting practice for all claims that ensure only genuine claims are taken on, and we believe that if you have genuinely suffered, you deserve to pursue your claim without feeling judged.
You put your trust in your holiday provider and resort when you travel, and getting food poisoning due to their poor standards or incompetence is not your fault and you shouldn’t have to foot the bill. Especially when it is likely you’ll have been covered for this in the insurance paid for as part of your package deal. This insurance premium is often added to your package by holiday providers or tour operators. It is from this insurance that any associated expenses or reimbursements will be taken if your claim is successful.
Are there criteria to make a food poisoning claim?
In order to ensure that every food poisoning claim we take on is genuine and has the potential to be successful, we have certain criteria your claim should meet. We will check these details with you by asking some simple questions.
- Were you taken sick with food poisoning on holiday within the last 3 years?
- How long did you have food poisoning for?
- Did you complain to the hotel or tour operator about your illness?
- Did you notice anything, such as poor hygiene or badly prepared food, during your stay that may have caused your illness?
- Did you require medical treatment for food poisoning?
We may also ask some additional questions specific to your situation to help us build your case, but these are nothing to worry about and we will ensure you know why we are asking these questions.
How do I make a claim for food poisoning?
There are two main ways to approach making a food poisoning claim. Firstly, you can try to handle the claim yourself, but given that you’re reading our food poisoning FAQs, you may wish to discuss your claim with us and our specialist lawyers who can run the case for you.
If you do decide to use us to make your claim, it all starts with a free initial telephone consultation. In this chat, we will be trying to understand what happened to you, why it happened, and how. As we are trying to find out quite a lot of detail, this phone call can be quite long, but it will give us the information we need to establish if you’ve been let down by your holiday provider.
You’ll then begin the claims process, in which we’ll seek to thoroughly investigate and substantiate your claim, with the aim to prove that your holiday provider failed to meet the Package Travel Regulations 1992. You claim will be handled by our holiday illness team.
We always ask if you wish to proceed with your claim, and if you do say yes, you can sign up to a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means that if you do not win your case, you pay nothing. If you win your case, you will be charged 25% of your damages, plus the cost of an ATE premium to ensure you against any unexpected costs and challenges during the course of the claim.
How much compensation can I get for food poisoning on holiday?
The amount of compensation you receive will depend upon the extent and severity of your food poisoning, and its effect upon your life. Our solicitors will also try to understand how this will affect your life in the future if your condition is on-going. This means that if your food poisoning is still making you ill after you’ve returned home and has forced you to take time off work, causing you loss of earnings, or has forced you to seek additional medical help, these costs may also be taken into consideration.
Compensation looks to redress the balance of any loss you have suffered due to faults or errors of the tour operator. Your compensation may see you reimbursed for the cost of your ruined holiday and cover any on-going treatment. Because of the huge variation between claims, food poisoning settlement amounts also vary widely; however, we do have some average settlement figures to give you an indication of what you might receive.
A mild case of food poisoning, that lasted several days, may see a settlement of between £700 and £3,000. A more serious case, that required hospitalisation, could see a settlement of up to £7,000. If your food poisoning were to have lasting effects or develops into a serious condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome, the food poisoning compensation amount could reach as much as £40,000.
In order to get a more accurate idea of how much compensation you could receive for your holiday food poisoning claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for a free telephone consultation.
How long does a food poisoning claim take?
Due to the unique circumstances surrounding every claim, it’s very difficult to give a definitive answer on how long it takes to settle a claim. Often, food poisoning settlement timescales will depend on how quickly our clients provide us with essential information about their holiday and illness, how quickly we can get medical records and assessments, and whether the tour operators are willing to provide realistic offers to settle the claims. This can take anywhere from a couple of months to a few years, depending on the complexity of your case.
We aim to settle your claim as quickly as possible and secure the maximum compensation for you. This often means we have to do some hard negotiation with the defendants – which takes extra time. Our aim is to progress the claim as fast as possible while getting you the maximum settlement available.
We realise that you’ll be keen to know about the progress of your claim so we will send you regular emails and texts to keep you up to date, and also to remind you if there is any information we’re waiting for from you.
Who can claim for food poisoning abroad?
Usually, the person affected will be the one to pursue the claim for food poisoning compensation, but in some circumstances, such as a whole family all falling ill on the same holiday, you may be able to pursue it on their behalf or as a group. In some more serious cases, a loved one may still be seriously affected by their illness or is trying to adapt to a long-term illness caused by it, which means you can pursue a case on their behalf.
In some rare and unfortunate circumstances, your friend or loved one may have died due to complications caused by getting food poisoning from a holiday and you may wish to search for answers on their behalf – we can assist you with this.
Whatever your circumstances, if you have become aware of the negligence of your holiday provider within the last 3 years, we can advise you. Contact us now for a free initial telephone consultation.
Should I report my food poisoning to anyone?
If you become ill on holiday, you should report your condition to your hotel and to your package holiday tour operator. You should do this during your stay or within 28 days of returning home, ensuring you document your complaint in some way. This may be helpful to your claims process later on.
Currently, there is no travel ombudsman or centralised body to deal with complaints against travel agencies. Your tour operator may be a member of ABTA, the UK’s largest travel organisation, so it’s recommended that you also register a complaint with them too.
ABTA can advise you if you have a valid complaint and suggest solutions to your problem, but won’t advise their members to offer compensation. They can, however, take you through a process called arbitration, which is an independent and legally binding judgement, where you may be awarded a payment, but this is limited to £1,500 per person. If you decide to pursue compensation through this process, you will be required to pay a fee to your arbitrator regardless of whether you win or lose your case.
If you would prefer to pursue your claim with our experienced food poisoning solicitors, we can advise you on your claim, but we won’t decide for you which of the above courses of action are best for your situation.
Can you sue for food poisoning if you weren’t on holiday?
We do not handle individual or small group food poisoning lawsuits within the UK. There are other law firms that may take on such a case for you in this instance, but the time and cost involved often do not justify the outcome or compensation amount. This is most often due to the difficulty in proving the restaurant or eatery is definitely, and provably, responsible for your illness. Suing for food poisoning as part of an all-inclusive or package holiday is usually more successful because you can prove you ate only at the hotel for the duration of your stay.
However, if a large number of people wish to pursue a lawsuit for food poisoning and there is strong evidence, we may be able to advise you.
Does my travel insurance cover food poisoning?
It is recommended by the FCO that you take out travel insurance before going on any holiday to cover you for a range of potential emergency costs. An insurance claim on travel insurance you have bought is not the same as a claim for food poisoning compensation. Your travel insurance is designed to cover you for any medical costs while you are abroad, for example, if you required hospital care, whereas a compensation claim is a claim against the person or company responsible for your illness. Although this claim will go through the tour operator’s insurer, it does not affect your insurance.
What should I do if I believe I have food poisoning after a holiday?
If you believe you have food poisoning but are unsure, it is unlikely that you do. The symptoms of food poisoning are nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea which can be accompanied by a fever, weakness, stomach cramps, loss of appetite and headaches.
If you have these symptoms within 72 hours of your return from holiday or experienced them while you were away, you could be eligible to make a food poisoning compensation claim. In order to find out more you can chat to us by phone on a free initial consultation where we will establish if you have a claim and can advise you on the process should you then wish to proceed.
What is food poisoning caused by?
Food poisoning is caused by contaminated or undercooked food. It can also be caused by poor food storage practices which can lead to salad, cold meats and dairy becoming the perfect environment for food poisoning bacteria, such as salmonella. Other poor food hygiene practices include the incorrect use of hot plates and foods being left out on buffets for too long; both practices create the perfect temperatures for illness-causing bacteria to grow.
However, there are many ways that you can get food poisoning on holiday, including from contaminated drinking water and surfaces touched by sick people such as door handles and railings. If staff members within a hotel or resort are ill themselves and continue to work, they can quickly spread the sickness around the hotel, causing an outbreak.
If you find yourself with food poisoning on holiday, be aware of these danger areas and be sure to record them and report them as they may help you make a food poisoning compensation claim.