Food Poisoning on Holiday

Many people suffer food poisoning symptoms on holiday, although not all of these are actually food poisoning! Some problems arise because we are eating food that we are not used to, and this can cause an upset stomach.

Poor water quality is a common problem, and the general advice is to take appropriate steps if you are advised that the water is not safe to drink – this could include

  • Drinking bottled water (take care that the bottle is sealed, to ensure it was not filled from the tap)
  • Avoiding ice cubes in drinks
  • Ensuring that salad, fruit etc has been washed in bottled or treated water, or peel fruit etc before eating.

Viral Outbreaks

Viral outbreaks can be a major problem, as these can spread quickly from person to person. Cruise ships and hotels can experience major outbreaks, and you should therefore always

  • Maintain good hygiene standards, particularly making sure you wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating
  • If you are ill, stay in your room if you can for 48 hours after symptoms subside to make sure that you don't spread any illness
  • Drink plenty of water, even though you may not feel like it. Vomiting and diarrhoea cause your body to lose water. Water loss (dehydration) can be serious over a period of several days.
  • Follow the advice given on washing hands etc by the holiday company to try and limit any outbreak

Holiday Travel Watch is a voluntary organisation that gives help and advice to holiday makers to help them avoid problems, and also gives advice and support to those who suspect they have become ill as a result of exposure to infection whilst abroad.

If you suspect that you may have contracted your illness whilst abroad, you may wish to contact Holiday Travel Watch on 0121 747 8100 (Helpline).

Last Modified: 27/10/2022
For more information contact:

The Food, Health & Safety Team

Tel: 01633 648009

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