Holiday accidents: Bad hotel hygiene

Getting away from it all can be the high point of the year for many people. Sun, sand, rest and relaxation are exactly what the doctor ordered to get away from the stress of it all.

However what the doctor didn’t order was the plethora of illnesses that can be contracted through bad hotel hygiene standards when travelling.

Some examples of bad hotel hygiene

  • Cold viruses
  • Influenza
  • Rotavirus
  • Norovirus
  • Diphtheria
  • E. coli
  • Hepatitis A
  • Scarlet fever

If you have been affected by any of these issues then, due to bad hotel hygiene, you may be entitled to travel accident compensation

Are hotels really that unhygienic though?

In 2013, Research conducted by Check Safety First, a company which offers health and safety risk management systems to hotels, found that statistically the bathroom is the most cleanly place in any hotel. It used Relative Light Units (RLU) to measure the dirt and bacteria on surfaces in hotel rooms: the higher the reading of RLU, the higher the presence of bacteria.

Hotel bathroom sinks recorded an average of 535 RLU but the toilet seats had an average of 34 RLU and showers had an average of 44 RLU. The shocking figures lay in the readings of plates, cutlery and tea-making facilities, each averaging around 277 RLU.

The company states that the reason for this is perhaps that tea-making facilities are often over-looked by any cleaning staff. The company recommends washing your hands after using any tea-making facilities, or if possible, avoid them completely!

TV remote controls fared slightly better with an average of 128 RLU, telephones recording an average of around 207 RLU and light switches around 127 RLU.

The company focused a survey on women and found that 1 in 5 women become ill after staying in a hotel due to bad hotel hygiene. Women were asked where they preferred to eat in their room when staying in a hotel with over 80 per cent reporting that they preferred to eat any room-service meals in bed which could contribute to the frequency of illnesses contracted. Another concern may be the food itself, with the company finding that many hotel meals were in fact undercooked, exposing their guests to yet more hygiene related risks.

Not all hotels are so unhygienic but it’s important to be vigilant and report any instances of poor hygiene standards in hotels. Travel and tourism rating websites are an invaluable source of information when it comes to choosing a hotel for the quality of its hygiene.

If you’ve fallen ill as a result of staying in a hotel with poor hygiene standards then contact Accident Advice helpline today.

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