‘She could’ve died eating cross-contaminated food’ - Chorley woman left violently ill during holiday to Ibiza

A Chorley woman was left violently ill during a holiday to Ibiza after she suffered a series of allergic reactions at her hotel due to cross food contaminations.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 4:39 pm
Angela and Christian. Top left, the unlabelled calamari. Photos: Christian Eckersley
Angela and Christian. Top left, the unlabelled calamari. Photos: Christian Eckersley

Angela Eckersley, 38, who has a severe allergy to all seafood and shellfish products was taken poorly after kitchen staff at Magic Life Cala Pada served her food with utensils used to cook mackerel and chicken. She also ate onion rings unaware they were in fact calamari.

The mother-of-two spent several days being sick and had to be put on a course of steroids when she returned home.

This week Mrs Eckersley’s husband Christian, also 38, threatened to sue TUI after turning down the travel giant’s offer of £1,000 compensation following the 2018 holiday. The hotel itself had tried offering him just one day’s worth of car hire.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Eckersley, of Chorley, who is director of a finance company, said: “TUI have been disgraceful in their customer relations and have taken nearly a year to respond. My wife could have died but no one seems to care.

“If someone with allergies is affected badly it can mean life and death. TUI don’t seem to care about this because my wife luckily wasn’t hospitalised when she fell ill on their holiday.

“The hotel first tried to claim that it was my wife’s fault and that they had been clearly labelled calamari. But when I showed him the pictures he soon backed down. What the hotel tried to offer was a complete insult, after all the stress we had been through with my wife being constantly sick throughout the holiday.”

Mrs Eckersley who can suffer anaphylactic reactions if she comes into contact with seafood, was diagnosed with the allergy in 2005, She carries an epi-pen with her at all times and she makes sure where ever she goes that bosses at hotels and restaurants are aware of her potentially life threatening condition.

Under EU food labelling regulations introduced in 2014 restaurants should list ingredients that may trigger allergies.

This includes listing dishes containing fish and crustaceans.

Travel lawyer Paul Stevens of Simpson Millar solicitors said complaints about food labelling need to be thoroughly investigated owing to the potentially severe consequences.

He said: “This case demonstrates the real risk for allergy sufferers eating abroad. Both customers and those responsible for providing food, including tour operators, need to be vigilant to minimise the risks of the wrong food types being consumed.”

TUI said:

A spokeswoman for TUI said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mrs Eckersley’s experience in Ibiza. We have listened to the customers feedback and we understand the impact this must have had on her holiday. We are in direct contact to apologise and offer a gesture of goodwill.

“We would like to reassure customers that we regularly audit all of the hotels we feature in respect of health and safety, including food safety.”