Taunton injury lawyer James McNally looks at the growing problem of holiday illness with the assistance of Trip Advisor’s reviewers

Type ‘food poisoning’ into the Trip Advisor search bar and you will immediately see how prevalent holiday illness now is.

Top of the list which my search returned was a hotel in the Dominican Republic. Out of just over 15,000 reviews 133 had a match with ‘poisoning’. This Caribbean island featured heavily in the search results, clearly marking the Dominican Republic out as one of the world’s food poisoning hot spots. No fewer than 16 hotels on the island had reviews mentioning ‘poisoning’ in the first few pages of the search results. Hotels in Mexico weren’t far behand, with 11 reviews referring to poisoning. Tying in third place were Cuba and Egypt. Dishonourable mentions also go to Jamaica, Spain, Thailand and Morocco.

Even the more traditionally upmarket resorts are not immune from criticism. Trip Advisor reviewers single out Dubai, Bali and Las Vegas among others for reported cases of food poisoning.

There is little doubt that food poisoning can completely ruin a holiday, though you might think that some of the victims of holiday sickness on Trip Adviser have been rather generous in their assessment, routinely giving the hotels responsible 2 or even 3 stars.

However, the comments from some of the reviewers are particularly damning. We won’t repeat the more colourful descriptions in this article just in case you are about to eat, but you can get a taste of what people have been experiencing from the following reviews that have been left for a hotel in the Dominican Republic:

“I would rather have stayed at home.”

“I wouldn’t wish anything like this on my worst enemy.”

“Of the group of 6, all of us got food poisoning.”

“Out of 15 people, 12 got deathly sick with food poisoning.”

“We were sick our entire vacation and are still sick today.”

“Of the 8 adults, 6 of us came down with horrific food poisoning that has stayed with us long after the trip.”

These last two comments are particularly important because they illustrate that the effects of food poisoning aren’t always short-lived. Some illnesses last 24 hours, or perhaps 48, but more serious food poisoning can lead to long lasting symptoms and in some cases the consequences can be permanent.

We aren’t suggesting that you use this straw poll to plan your next holiday of course. As with all statistics they have to be interpreted in context. So you need to take into consideration, for instance, the volume of people visiting these hotels. The more visitors they cater for, the more likely they will be to get an adverse review. Nevertheless, the Trip Advisor reviews do make for some uncomfortable reading and underline (if it wasn’t clear enough already) how careful we need to be when going abroad on holiday and the risks we take of developing a holiday related illness.

And for anyone who has been put off trotting the globe, there is good news in the shape of the latest weather forecast for the west county, predicting a particularly warm summer for 2016.

If you have suffered holiday illness or food poisoning and would like to know whether you are eligible for holiday accident compensation then call your local specialist lawyers for a FREE case assessment and details of our No Win – No Fee funding scheme on Taunton 01823 354545.

How common is holiday food poisoning?