February 24th, 2011
I recently read in The Telegraph a disturbing article on the idea that dust blown into the oceans from African deserts can increase the growth of bacteria that causes food poisoning in seafood.
Researchers found that the dangerous bacteria found in seawater flourished alongside dust that comes from the Sahara desert. Climate change is causing the desert areas to grow, which may be increasing the risk of seafood poisoning around the world. Consequently, rising sea temperatures could increase the chance of bacteria occurring in shellfish caught in British waters.
While the desert dust can help cultivate sea life, the idea that the dust could lead to food poisoning is very worrying and the effects can be serious. The typical signs of food poisoning can range from nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, head or muscle aches and fever. Infants and the elderly are at greatest risk from food poisoning, so it’s very important to monitor for any early signs and keep updating your health and safety food knowledge.
February 23rd, 2011
This week, while surfing the net, I came across a useful blog outlining some of the myths connected with travel hygiene. Harmful bacteria can lurk in the most innocent places, which can often get overlooked by most holidaymakers.
Below are a few reminders to take on-board before you book flights and accommodation for this year’s holiday:
Airplanes – It’s an age old myth that sharing the air on an airplane puts you at risk to microbes that can make you sick. As most aircrafts are fitted with air filtration systems, your best chance of catching something is from the person sitting next to you. So, be sure to wash your hands regularly while in-flight.
Hotel rooms – Clean bed linen is often the least of your worries when you arrive at a hotel. When the staff clean a hotel, it’s the less obvious parts of a room, such as light switches, door knobs and the television that are forgotten about. When choosing a hotel it is important to do your research and avoid just opting for the cheapest – they may be cutting back on the cleaning bill to give you that great deal.
Public toilets – You might think that the toilet seat is the dirtiest place in public facilities. In fact, toilet seats are usually the one place that is regularly cleaned. It is the areas such as the toilet handle and the sinks where there is more of a risk and a breeding ground for bacteria. As bugs can be airborne, it’s also a good idea to put the lid down before you flush.
February 21st, 2011
I was horrified to read on the bbc.co.uk this week that more than 950 school children have fallen ill in nine schools on Japan’s northern Hokkaido island with suspected food poisoning. The meal thought to have caused the suspected salmonella food poisoning was a lunch of miso soup, salad and Japanese radish with minced meat.
Already thirteen children have been hospitalised in the city of Iwamizawa and 48 teachers and other school staff also have symptoms. The outbreak is widespread because all the school food is prepared and delivered from one large central kitchen, so the harmful food was sent out to a wide range of locations. The affected schools will remain closed until the end of the week.
Children are far more susceptible to food poisoning, so it always important to maintain high health and safety stands when preparing the school lunch. Perhaps in this case a packed lunch may have been a safer option to avoid the spread of the disease?
February 21st, 2011
The Mirror this week has an article on how to avoid the holiday from hell with advice from Joe Crowley, presenter of the BBC’s save my holiday. The article provides some useful pointers for holidaymakers.
Here are a few that I agree with:
Ignore the star system – There is no universal star rating system, as it’s different in every country. Stars are awarded on facilities rather than important things like health and safety, so very often a two star hotel can be a lot cleaner and more hygienic than a more luxury four star offering.
Don’t be afraid to complain – If your accommodation is not up to scratch, don’t just sit on it and moan to your friends when you get home. In order for the hotel or holiday company to rectify a problem, it’s important to flag it up, preferably while you are still there. Why let a resolvable problem ruin your holiday?
Research your hotel – Before you book any accommodation it’s important to do your research, not just through review sites, but by asking the right questions of your travel company and looking for independent advice.
February 10th, 2011
I was pleased to read that the courts are severely punishing the manager of Llay Fish Bar in Wrexham. Hopefully other establishments will take heed.
The takeaway boss has been jailed for eight months and banned from running a food business after admitting hygiene offences, which led to an E.coli outbreak in the area.
Inspectors found flies over the pizza toppings, a lack of hand washing materials and cloths from the basins covering the frozen kebabs – all hygiene risks that resulted in five people to become seriously ill. The restaurant repeatedly ignored instructions to clean up its act and treat hygiene as an important priority.
This case goes to show what can happen if a restaurant fails to take health and safety seriously. Next time you nip out for a quick takeaway; take a look around the waiting area. If the place looks grubby and disorganised, the same can probably be said of the kitchen. It might be better to cook something at home.
February 9th, 2011
(Source www.bugsforbugs.com.au/images/Qld._fruit_fly_6b.jpg )
I was absolutely horrified to read in the Daily Mail this week that the luxury Mellington Hall Hotel became infested by flies as mouldy strawberries and cream were found past there use-by date.
The hotel was closed in July for a deep-clean, following a disappointing inspection. But after a second visit this year further mouldy food was found again. It later emerged that the chef was dyslexic and had been unable to read the use-by dates.
I can’t believe that the hotel wasn’t made aware of the Chiefs’ dyslexia. It’s just goes to show that even the most luxurious of establishments can slip up on minor details.
February 2nd, 2011
Reading an article on TravelMole.com, I was intrigued to find that the coastal city of Brighton was a star performer in the recent 2010 Superbreak survey, with a 23 per cent growth in sales year on year. It’s great to see that the traditional family bucket and spade break is rising up the top ten charts.
Rising from ninth to seventh place, Brighton slotted in just behind Bournemouth, while the top six destinations held their positions. London took the top spot, thanks to big shows such as Wizard of Oz and the opening of Shrek The Musical. However, I was pleased to see Brighton faring so well against such high profile competition.
Why not take a look at the top ten destinations for 2010:
4. Lake District
January 28th, 2011
I was fascinated to see that a five bedroom hotel decorated in garbage has been set up in Madrid, Spain. The “Coronita Save the Beach Hotel”, is designed by a German eco-artist and is built using twelve tonnes of rubbish collected from the beaches across Europe.
The hotel is part of a campaign sponsored by Krona beer to raise awareness of how garbage is harming the world’s beaches. The temporary structure can take up to ten guests a night. However, it doesn’t accept paying guests as the rooms are won in an online raffle.
While I would normally stay clear of garbage when considering the health and safety aspects of a hotel, I find this quirky hotel solution a great way to draw the crowd’s attention to the current environmental issues we face.
Though the question you may be wondering is does it smell? We’ll I am pleased to inform you that guests who have already stayed at the hotel can confirm it doesn’t!
January 21st, 2011
I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling the toll of the VAT rise – and we’re less than a month in. Readers of The Sun, must be in the same boat as the newspaper has drawn up a list of the best value places to visit this summer that won’t break the bank:
- Spain – the euro is weak so make the most of the competitive hotel prices
- Turkey – a firm favourite, not as cheap as it used to be, but it’s still a bargain holiday
- Morocco - it has so many flights in and out you will be sure to pick up a cheap deal
- USA – low cost flights and cheap clothes – what more could you ask for
- Tunisia – one to watch for some winter sun later in the year
- Iceland – a bargain city break to be had
- Egypt – you will definitely get value for money, particularly with an all-inclusive deal
- Portugal –a buffet of cheap hotels and food
- Bulgaria – tourism still isn’t huge in Bulgaria, so you can get an authentic holiday without the hefty price tag
- Kenya – with direct service from the UK to Mombasa, the travel price is reasonable. So make the most of it
With a tough financial year ahead, it’s never been more important to jet off for a bit of relaxation and with these holiday destinations you won’t feel guilty for spending a few pennies.