E.coli Outbreak: Causes, Symptoms and Advice

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BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

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What many people may not know is that at times there is real difficulty in proving cases of food poisoning and identifying the source of the infection. With varying incubation periods for various bacteria, microbes and viruses ranging from 6 hours to 14 days or more, food poisoning may not necessarily be caused by the last thing eaten whether that is on holiday or in the UK.
E. coli bacteria can be found primarily in beef, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. The bacteria lives in most warm-blooded animals, including humans, and spreads through fecal matter or contaminated water. E. coli symptoms can be moderate to severe and include diarrhoea, vomiting, excessive sweating, fever and in rare cases, bloody stool.

The best way to prevent E.coli poisoning is to use hot heat. All beef products should be cooked at an internal temperature of at least 160 F or 72-75 C. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat is cooked all the way through. Beef back should never be put onto a plate that held raw meat. All fruits and vegetables should be scrubbed thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or manure.
If you want to make a claim against your hotel or your tour operator, medical evidence such as a blood or stool test is essential in order to prove what bacteria or virus was caught. If your symptoms continue for more than a few days, please make sure to attend your GP or a hospital, especially if you have blood in your stool.
If you are on holiday, it would be a good idea to take photographs of any defects or unsanitary conditions which may suggest a general lack of cleanliness. A diary of what you ate and when you ate it is also a must.
Should you need any advice in relation to any food poisoning claim, please do contact our Travel Team.

Lauren Haas
Solicitor - Travel Department

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