Dad's ordeal of being hospitalised with 'food poisoning' at Tui hotel
19/04/2023

A British holidaymaker who claims he was hospitalised after being struck down by a suspected food poisoning outbreak at a five-star resort in Turkey has launched legal action over his 'disastrous' getaway. 

Liam Garnett, 37, was placed on a drip after being hit with suspected gastroenteritis while on holiday with his partner Gabrielle, 30, and two children over .

And after returning to the UK, Mr Garnett needed further treatment and underwent tests including abdomen and chest x-rays.

His two children, aged six and four, also suffered from symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting and one of them is still off school due to illness.

Mr Garnett, a site manager, is now among dozens of holidaymakers contemplating taking legal action against holiday firm TUI for the nightmare break at the Rixos Sungate hotel.

Liam Garnett and his family had been enjoying a family trip to Turkey when they fell ill 

Mr Garnett claims that once his condition worsened he was placed on a drip 

Mr Garnett claims his son (pictured) was also ill on the holiday from suspected food poisoning 

The Rixos Sungate (pictured) is a five-star rated resort in Turkey where families spend as much as £4,000 on TUI package holidays

He said: 'It was horrible being ill, then seeing my children also suffering from sickness. The holiday was just a disaster and we want to know what went wrong.

'There were others at the same hotel who were also ill and I know they are considering legal action too as you don't book a five-star holiday expecting to spend most of it in bed with illness.'

Mr Garnett said they booked the family holiday after having a tough period at work, hoping it would be a nice relaxing break while the kids were off school.

The 1,076-room resort, in Kemer on Turkey's southern coast, boasts 11 restaurants including a 'world food' buffet and sushi diner.

It also has a water park and 12 swimming pools.

But within days of their dream getaway, the family had been struck down with a mystery illness, which had symptoms similar to acute gastroenteritis.

Mr Garnett says they saw food served uncovered at the resort, while cutlery, crockery and tables were often dirty.

He claims there were cats in the restaurant and he saw chefs smoking in fire exits and not washing their hands afterwards - before dishing out the food without gloves.

The father, from Manchester, added: 'We booked the trip as it had been a tough time at work recently so we wanted to get away somewhere nice for Easter.

'But a few days in I was suffering with really bad sickness, fever and stomach cramps and I was in my hotel room for most of the next five days.

'Now I'm back home I've had to go back to work but luckily I can work from home as my illness is still ongoing.'

Liam Garnett, pictured, said he was struck down with illness and left bed-bound for 10 days

A number of families have been struck down with diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. Pictured: Medication taken by the families to help with their symptoms

Rebecca Wright, pictured here with husband David Bracewell, also claims her 14-year-old stepdaughter was hospitalised after getting ill at the resort

Among those struck down with the 'illness' was the Bracewell family from Lancashire, whose 14-year-old daughter Charlie has ended up in hospital for three days with gastroenteritis.

Rebecca Wright, her husband David Bracewell and children Charlie, Oliver, ten, and Indie, three, now face a £3,000 hospital bill.

READ MORE: Pictured: British families at centre of 'food poisoning' outbreak at five-star TUI hotel

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Ms Wright told that after complaining to TUI she got a message saying the hotel had told them it may have been caused not by food poisoning, but by 'weather changes, especially day and night temperature differences, seasonal factors, especially allergic reactions'.

The 37-year-old branded the response 'laughable and unhelpful', telling the outlet: 'I've been absolutely exhausted and felt so ill.

'There are more people coming down with it every day. It's laughable they suggested it was the weather.

'I am so worried about being able to fly home. I went out of my room for two hours and had to go back to bed feeling exhausted.

'We are all petrified of the buffet. We all think it's food or drink related. Literally, since my step daughter got ill we have lived off bananas.'

Lawyers from Irwin Mitchell are investigating legal action against the tour operator and say they expect the number of claims to grow quickly.

Jatinder Paul, from the law firm, said several families had suffered similar symptoms.

He said: 'It's very concerning that multiple families seem to have suffered from similar horrible illness symptoms at the same time, at the same resort.

'Naturally they want answers as to how they have become so ill on a five-star holiday.

'No one goes on holiday expecting to need medical treatment either in the resort and even on their return home.

'We will now be writing to their tour operator TUI UK Limited as we seek to resolve the problems and find out what went wrong for the holidaymakers we are representing.'

TUI describes the hotel as a 'platinum' venue that's 'tailored for families'.

The resort has a 4.5 out of five-star ranking on Tripadvisor.

A spokesperson for TUI previously told MailOnline: 'We are concerned to hear of a small number cases at Rixos Sungate in Turkey, as health and safety of our customers is our highest priority.

'Our team at resort are in close contact with our guests and offering support where necessary.

'Our health and safety team are investigating in close collaboration with the hotel and we will remain in frequent contact with our guests.

'We'd like to reassure all customers that we regularly audit all of our hotels in respect to health and safety, including hygiene.'

A Tui spokesperson said they were 'concerned' to hear that customers at the Rixos Sungate resort, in Turkey, had been taken ill during April. But they added as Liam Garnett and his family had now brought legal action, they were unable to comment on their specific case.

They said: 'We were very concerned to hear of small number cases at Rixos Sungate in Turkey, as the health and safety of our customers is our highest priority.

'We'd like to reassure all customers that we regularly audit all of our hotels in respect to health and safety, including hygiene.

'As this is now a legal matter, we are unable to comment on the specific cases.'

*** Are YOU the victim of 'food poisoning' at the Rixos Sungate resort in Turkey? Email [email protected]*** 

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