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Family Holiday In Cape Verde Ruined By Illness

Salmonella Food Poisoning


The parents of a girl struck down with Salmonella food poisoning while on holiday in Cape Verde have called on tour operator Thomson to review hygiene standards at the Riu Funana resort.

7-year-old Daisy Lee was struck down with the illness while staying at the resort in June 2010. Daisy’s Mum Sarah was also ill with gastric symptoms.

The family from Nottingham have instructed specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them in their fight for justice. Lawyers at the firm also represent 88 other holidaymakers who were taken ill at either the Riu Funana or its sister hotel the Riu Garopa in 2008 and 2009.

Amandeep Dhillon of Irwin Mitchell said: "The Lee family's complaints regarding hygiene and food standards echo those of our clients who stayed at these sister hotels during the previous two years.   It is very concerning and disappointing to hear the same complaints three years in a row.

"Some of our clients have suffered from potentially very dangerous illnesses at these hotels, including Salmonella, Shigella and E coli. We know that Daisy too was diagnosed with Salmonella by her GP on her return to the UK. This is potentially a very serious condition, particularly for a young child."

Mr and Mrs Lee hoped they would enjoy a relaxing fortnight at the resort but found a dirty swimming pool, unhygienic public toilets, undercooked food and cockroaches at the hotel.

Sarah said: "During our stay we were frequently served food that was undercooked, cold food that was not chilled appropriately and we saw often cockroaches in and around the hotel restaurant where we were dining.

"Both Daisy and I fell ill and had to attend our GP when we returned home, where it was confirmed that Daisy had contracted Salmonella.

"I feel cheated really, as we have both been really ill since coming home. It feels like we never had a holiday in the first place and need another one now."

Amandeep Dhillon, from the specialist International Travel Law team at Irwin Mitchell, said: "Tour operators are primarily responsible for the safety of their guests and so we are extremely disappointed that they have once again allowed such a severe illness to be caught by such a young child.

"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."

Irwin Mitchell has previously been involved in 84 cases in 2008 and four cases in 2009 which involved Salmonella, Shigella and e-coli. TUI UK Ltd, the owners of Thomson, has admitted liability for these previous cases.

If you have suffered an illness while on holiday, find out more about making a compensation claim by reading our illness abroad section.