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Egyptian Food Poisoning Leaves British Man Celebrating 60th Birthday In Intensive Care

Call For Improved Hygiene Standards Following Severe Holiday Food Poisoning


Law firm Irwin Mitchell is calling for tour operators to improve hygiene standards, after a man was left in intensive care when he suffered severe food poisoning while on a holiday to celebrate his 60th birthday.

Paul Newton, from Firth Park, in Sheffield, was struck down by the illness while he and his wife, Veronica, were on a two week break in Egypt as part of a package with Virgin Holidays.

The couple planned the holiday to combine a week stay at the four-star Grand Sharm Plaza with a week long cruise on the Red Sea, but a few days before leaving for the holiday they were told they had been transferred to the four star Savita Spa hotel due to ongoing contractual problems between Virgin Holidays and the Grand Sharm Plaza.

Mr Newton said: “The Savita Spa hotel was very disappointing in general but the standard of hygiene was absolutely shocking. Food was often left uncovered and was surrounded by insects.

“Some of the chicken served at the buffet still had blood in it, and food that was left over from one meal was sometimes re-served at the next.”

After the week at the Savita Spa Hotel, Mr and Mrs Newton continued onto the Thomson Celebration cruise liner as originally planned, but a couple of hours before boarding Mr Newton began to suffer from, stomach cramps and dehydration as a result of the stay at the hotel, thereafter he developed severe diarrhoea. Mr Newton also confirmed that he was aware of other guests who were staying at the hotel who had similar symptoms.

The onboard doctor diagnosed him with severe food poisoning and admitted him to the onboard Intensive Care Unit where he was put on a drip and fed I.V antibiotics. He was later transferred to the Aquaba Hospital in Jordan.

Mr Newton continued: “The treatment meant I had to go for four days without eating at all and I lost over a stone in weight. By the time I was taken off the drip my hands had swollen to the size of balloons because my veins had collapsed.

“The whole experience caused a lot of pain at the time and since returning we are facing hefty bills for medical treatment and phone calls abroad it is fortunate that we had insurance to cover our medical expenses. This was meant to be a special holiday but turned into the holiday from hell.”

Mr Newton now suffers from ongoing gastric problems and has to regularly attend his GP in the UK. Irwin Mitchell is pursuing a claim against Virgin Holidays on Mr Newton’s behalf; for his illness and terrible holiday.

Clare Pearson, Travel Law specialist at Irwin Mitchell said: “Tour operators are responsible for ensuring the safety of their customers and must take reasonable steps to do so.”

“Time and again we see British holidaymakers who have suffered serious illnesses while on holiday because their tour operators have sent them to hotels which have substandard hygiene levels. This is simply unacceptable and more needs to be done now to stop this happening in the future.

”We are very concerned that our clients were sent to the Savita Spa hotel and suffered severe food poisoning as a result. Legal action has commenced against Virgin Holidays and we hope that Virgin will act promptly to avoid illness amongst future guests staying at the hotel. If they can not be certain of this, we urge Virgin to stop sending guests there until the risk of foodborne illness is eliminated.

“Meanwhile, we invite Virgin to enter negotiations with us as soon as possible to resolve Mr and Mrs Newton’s claims for damages.”

If you have suffered food poisoning or illness while on holiday in Egypt, find out more about claiming compensation.