A Burnley man who booked a holiday to cheer up his grieving partner became violently ill after eating food he believes birds had defecated on.
The astounded Burnley couple Stephen Redfern and Chantel Craig ate from the hotel buffet for days before they witnessed the birds flying in, leading them to take pictures and record a video in which they are heard explaining that there was bird excrement on the sausages.
In reply, a waiter claimed that the blemishes were “fish”.
Stephen (36) who is unemployed, spent his £1,295 savings on the week away to try to cheer up his girlfriend as the couple jetted off just days after deciding on the last-minute getaway.
“I booked the trip for my Mrs as a surprise because her father had just died and she was down in the dumps," said Stephen. "I thought it would cheer her up but it just made things even worse.
“It was a four star hotel so we were really looking forward to it," he added. "When we first got there we didn’t know there was bird faeces in the food so God knows what we ate.
"It was only a few days later when we saw them flying in and pooing on the food," Stephen explained. "There were birds just sitting on plates of food. I pointed out the poo on some sausages but the waiter said it was fish; I told him I’d seen the bird do it but he wouldn’t listen.
Keen to get the hotel’s restaurant to address the hygiene issues, Stephen claims he reported what he had seen at reception and tracked down his holiday rep who witnessed the problems himself, yet nothing changed.
Despite the high temperatures, Stephen and Chantel say they were forced to live on soup for the rest of their trip as it was the only thing on offer that was covered.
Stephen added: “We couldn’t even eat the bread because there were birds sat in it. By the end of the trip we couldn’t eat anyway because we were sick. We went to see the doctor and he said we had food poisoning.
“It was a real shock, especially because it was a special trip. I wanted to take my girlfriend away to wine and dine her but we both ended up getting sick. I wasted all that money to surprise her and it just made her sick.”
Stephen and Chantel contacted Slater and Gordon Lawyers to pursue a claim against Thomson, claiming the tour operator failed to maintain basic standards at the Fuerteventura Princess Hotel on the Canarian island of Fuerteventura.
Hannah Crosby, a travel specialist at the law firm said: “When people go on holiday to a nice resort, the last thing they expect is for the food they’re eating to be contaminated with animal waste.
"From the evidence we’ve received, it seems standards of food hygiene and health and safety were not maintained with reasonable care on the holiday, which allowed the outbreak of the illness to occur and caused our clients’ holidays to be spoilt," Hannah added.
“It’s the hotel’s basic duty to ensure that the food they serve is fit for human consumption.”