Food poisoning on holiday: Egypt, Majorca and Benidorm among most high-risk locations

Hurghada is the location with the highest number of food poisonings reported.Hurghada is the location with the highest number of food poisonings reported.
Hurghada is the location with the highest number of food poisonings reported.
Hurghada in Egypt is the holiday destination where you are most likely to get food poisoning, according to a new study.

And other popular holiday destinations for British tourists - including Majorca and Benidorm - are also close to the top of the list.

Travel illness claim experts, Sick Holiday, and food intolerance company, YorkTest, found that 95 per cent of claims from British tourists came from the Egyptian resort, with 380 cases between 2017 and 2018 highlighted in their report.

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The second-highest number of food poisoning cases occurred in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, with 211 instances in total. Turkey also made the list, with 108 reports in Antalya.

Majorca and Benidorm rounded off the top 10 with 66 and 62 cases respectively.

Levels of holiday illness ‘very worrying’

Richard Conroy of Sick Holiday said, “The levels of holiday illness we see from certain locations is very worrying.

"For two years we have received a complaint about Hurghada more than once every two days, a huge number for such a small resort."

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In 2018 there was a spike in the number of Brits going on holiday to Hurghada - a trend which was attributed to the prospect of cheap holidays.

The number of visitors from the UK in 2018 was more than 60,000, which was a 39 per cent rise on the year before.

The full list of high-risk destinations

1. Hurghada, Egypt – 380 cases

2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – 211

3. Riviera Maya, Mexico – 182

4. Antalya, Turkey – 108

5. Cancun, Mexico – 95

6. Boa Vista, Cape Verde – 84

7. Marrakesh, Morocco – 83

8. Sal, Cape Verde – 68

9. Majorca, Spain – 66

10. Benidorm, Spain – 62

Food poisoning kills 420,000 a year

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mr Conroy added, “Food poisoning kills 420,000 people a year worldwide and 600 million people a year are affected by it.

“We've dealt with clients who have been left with crippling joint pain due to salmonella and people who have developed persistent post-infective irritable bowel syndrome following exposure to salmonella or E. coli.”

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He also explained that at some resorts the heat can be a factor that worsens the likelihood of getting food poisoning.

He said that the temperatures of 35C, and the serving of lukewarm food in these environments, is ideal for bacteria that could grow on the food.

And flies landing on food can deposit 1,000 microbes of bacteria simply by landing on food, which has sometimes been left out in the heat during preparation.