Tui have apologised to a couple after one was left violently ill after suffering an allergic reaction whilst on holiday in Ibiza.
Angela Eckersley travelled to Ibiza for a dream holiday, but was taken ill after suffering from a severe allergy. Angela suffers from a severe allergy to all shellfish and seafood and was taken ill at Magic Life Cala Pada in Ibiza after food served to her had traces of fish. It is believed staff used the same utensils to handle chicken and fish, she also ate calamari believing they were onion rings.
Mrs Eckersley can go into anaphylactic shock if she comes into contact with seafood and carries an epi-pen with her, in fact her condition is so serious she makes sure to inform hotels and restaurants every time she visits one.
She spent several days being sick and on her return to the UK had to be put on a course of antibiotics. Her husband has threatened to sue Tui after they offered the couple a measly £1,000 in compensation. The hotel simply offered a day’s free car hire.
Mr Eckersley commented: “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 especially after the Pret A Manger allergen case. We had holidayed with Tui for our last three holidays before this and usually they were attentive to my wife’s condition but never again. 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. But she was constantly being sick due to eating cross contaminated food, but according to TUI that doesn’t seem to count. I wouldn’t recommend anyone with a serious allergy to holiday with them after what we went through, as they could be risking death. 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.”
The couple, who have holidayed with Tui many times before, say they were reassured from previous trips with the travel operator that Mrs Eckersley’s allergies would be well catered for and she would be safe. Despite this, on a visit to the pizza counter the couple witnessed a server using the same pizza cutter to cut a fish pizza and a meat one. They decided to avoid the pizza counter but a few days later she fell ill becoming violently sick, this was shortly after her husband had noticed kitchen staff using the same utensils to cook fish and chicken.
The couple complained to quest services and received an apology letter from guest services and told that all staff had been informed and it would not happen again during their stay. However, the following morning Mrs Eckersley woke up with a badly swollen face, a migraine and more vomiting.
Mrs Eckersley said: “I realised I had an allergic reaction to contamination with seafood which I had had before so I took lots of antihistamines to counter act it. I had been told to keep the epi pen for emergencies only and I didn’t want to use them until I really needed them. So I took more antihistamines.”
After recovering from the first allergy attack and reassured she would now be safe eating from the hotel, Mrs Eckersley ate some onion rings from the poolside snack bar, but they were actually Calamari. She immediately had to be sick and had to take extra medication. Mr Eckersley again reported this to the hotel and this time also to Tui. Staff were called to a special meeting on how to cook safely but despite this, days later the couple filmed a server using the same utensil to cook mackerel and chicken.
Mrs Eckersley said: “Clearly all the messages we had been assured had been made to the catering staff in team meetings were falling on deaf ears! Surely a four star plus hotel has more than one set of cooking utensils?”
A spokesperson for Tui said: “We are 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 and 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 food safety.”