Cardiff couple’s Turkish holiday blighted by food poisoning

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A CARDIFF couple have told how they too were victims of a holiday from hell at a Turkish resort.

Earlier this week the Echo revealed how Barry’s Tracy and Paul Swannick had their wedding wrecked when their 25-strong party suffered crippling food poisoning that left them and their guests with vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pains at the First Choice Holiday Village Hotel, in Sarigerme, southern Turkey.

They and 400 others are to sue holiday firm First Choice after their nightmare trip last September.

Now husband and wife Gareth and Sarah Mitchell, of Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, have told how their holiday was also ruined last August after they too fell sick at the hotel.

The disgusted couple spent four days holed up in their room with son Thomas, nine, because they were too sick to go out. Their daughter Kayleigh, 12, was the only one to remain healthy.

When they did emerge, they refused to dine at the resort.

Builder Mr Mitchell, 37, said: “My son was bad and we had to take him to the doctor. Myself and my wife had it as well. The little one lost weight. My wife reckons he lost about a stone. He was all bones.

“We were all-inclusive but for seven or eight days we did not eat at the restaurant.

“You’d see kids sticking their fingers in food (to be eaten by other holidaymakers).”

Mr Mitchell was left sickened by the state of the swimming pool, having seen a member of staff scooping human excrement out of the water and cleaners disinfecting the water with chemicals while bathers were still in it.

Mrs Mitchell, a kitchen assistant at Llanedeyrn secondary school, said: “It was just a holiday from hell. I said to the rep you need to have health and safety officers here.”

Food previously served at dinner was being offered up again at breakfast.

Mrs Mitchell added: “This is why we were bad. What we were eating was making us ill.”

First Choice have promised to give the Mitchell’s £725 compensation – but said they would continue to contract business out to the complex, claiming the “vast majority” of travellers had a “really good experience”.

A spokesman for First Choice said: “Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance and we were sincerely concerned to hear of the Mitchell family’s disappointment with their holiday. We will be offering them £725 as a good will gesture and further apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“We are aware that there was an outbreak of sickness at the property while the family was on holiday. A specialist consultant, who made an immediate site visit as soon as we learned of the sickness, concluded that the illness was an airborne virus and not a result of any services provided by the hotel. The health and safety of our customers is our primary focus and we are genuinely concerned to hear of any illnesses reported. We closely monitor all the hotels to which we operate to ensure that the strictest health, safety, hygiene and comfort levels our customers expect are maintained.

“This hotel is and continues to be very popular. More than 46,500 passengers travelled to the hotel last summer and the vast majority of these customers rated the hotel very highly in customer satisfaction surveys. We are confident that guests due to travel there in the future will experience the excellent levels of quality and standards they expect from a First Choice property.

“A customer service representative will be in touch with the Mitchell family in due course.”



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