More than 500 British holidaymakers have sought legal action after being struck down with illness while on a “luxury” trip to Cape Verde suffering from “undercooked and recycled food, a strong smell of sewage and flies everywhere”.
Anthony Hoban and his wife Lesley left for Cape Verde’s Riu Funana Hotel on a 10-day break on September 7.
But on September 12, they both claim they started suffering stomach symptoms, including stomach pain, sickness and diarrhoea.
The Hobans join more than 530 British holidaymakers who have instructed lawyers to investigate after they were also struck down with stomach ailments while on holiday.
As with others who stayed at the hotel, Anthony, 66, and Lesley, 61, reported what appeared to be unfinished food, which they believed was being recycled for other meals, and the flies that appeared to be everywhere.
Read more: Pensioner ‘could freeze to death’ as she heats shabby house with single log fire
Mr Hoban, from Consett, Co Durham, said: “The flies seemed to be everywhere with no real effort being made to do anything about it and after a few days we started to notice that the food was getting a bit too repetitive and what was out. for lunch was apparently only recycled for dinner. There were also birds pecking at the food on the tables in the buffet.
“This is not what you expect from what we thought was going to be a luxury break and both of us were so ill, it ruined a holiday we were looking forward to so much. We asked the representative in the hotel for help and they just told us to stay hydrated and didn’t seem to care much about what was going on.
Mr Hoban also claimed that the bathroom in the couple’s hotel room contained cracked tiles and that the towels provided were “stained and had holes”.
He added: “It was meant to be a luxury break abroad but is without a doubt the worst holiday we have ever been on.”
Read more: ‘Dead’ Christmas tree put up by council angers residents
On returning to the UK, the Hobans joined hundreds of holidaymakers who instructed international specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate.
Irwin Mitchell said that many of those who came into contact with the lawyers tested positive for a number of serious bacterial pathogens including salmonella, campylobacter, shigella and E.coli.
The law firm added that everyone they contacted to investigate were on holidays booked by tour operator TUI and stayed across seven hotels in the Sal area of Cape Verde.
Many holidaymakers questioned why they were allowed to stay at their hotels when others were reported to have already fallen ill.
Jatinder Paul, leading the team of specialist international serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who are supporting those affected, said: “That so many should have been affected at these hotels, in the same region under the same tour operator, the people who we represent leavers with many questions about what happened to them this summer and we are determined to help them find the answers.”
A TUI spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear about these experiences in Cape Verde, but as this is now a legal matter, it would be inappropriate to comment.
“We want to reassure customers that we regularly audit all our hotels for health and safety, including hygiene.”