24 Sep

BBC Watchdog, 24 September 2009 - ABTA Statement

Sickness in Holiday Resorts

ABTA has discussed the case at the Holiday Village - Sarigerme, Turkey with First Choice and is confident that they have taken all possible steps to manage the sickness there.   

Members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO), now merged with ABTA, have a preferred Code of Practice - a set of guidance notes which is given to all suppliers and overseas partners such as hotels, and relevant government bodies to make sure there are continuing improvements in safety awareness and standards.

The FTO provides training courses and seminars on health and safety issues and can lobby local authorities to implement better procedures.

The Code covers food hygiene and provides detailed guidance on how to analyse food safety from its purchase through to being served.

The FTO has also drawn up guidelines for hotels on how to manage outbreaks of sickness. This includes making sure hotel policies are being followed, monitoring sickness patterns, ensuring ill staff do not come to work, stepping up cleaning processes, triggering testing procedures and bringing in independent consultants.

These procedures can only be put into place once a pattern of illness has been established, so it’s vitally important that holidaymakers who fall ill notify their holiday rep or hotel reception immediately. 

But it’s up to everybody - hoteliers, kitchen staff and holidaymakers themselves - to play their part in preventing sickness outbreaks in holiday resorts.

It’s vitally important that good, basic hygiene practices are followed.
•Use the bathroom and shower before using the pool.
•Wash your hands before eating, and after going to the toilet
•If there is a buffet, use the utensils provided.
•In some destinations you should drink bottled water and use it for brushing your teeth. Ensure that the seal on the bottle is intact.
•Avoid ice in drinks
•Make sure your food has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot when served.
•Make sure that any food that is re-heated is piping hot all the way through. If there is something wrong with the food, send it back.
•If you have symptoms of illness, notify your holiday rep or hotel reception immediately.

For further information see ABTA’s How to have a Safe and Healthy Holiday leaflet.