South Yorkshire pals’ birthday holiday ruined by food poisoning

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A YOUNG South Yorkshire woman has launched legal action after her birthday celebrations abroad on holiday were ruined by food poisoning.

The party was over even before it began for birthday girl Stephanie Lake and her pals when they fell seriously ill just three days after arriving in the Canary Islands to mark her 21st.

Stephanie and her friends Claire Smith, also 21, and Jodie Bird, 20, were all struck down with gastric illness after eating at their hotel, the Costa Caleta, on the island of Fuerteventura.

The trio were barely able to leave their rooms as they suffered from sickness and diarrhoea.

They also reported seeing flies around the food, and cockroaches in the hotel restaurant during their fortnight stay.

Stephanie, from Rotherham, said: “I thought it was going to be my best birthday ever – but it turned out to be the worst birthday of my life, as the day itself was when the whole nightmare started.

“We were all so ill, which was bad enough in itself, but being abroad in a place which was very hot and being barely able to leave your hotel room because of symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting in a place that is very hot was just horrific.”

Jodie, from Dinnington, added: “We all became ill after eating at the hotel restaurant and it seemed like the food wasn’t up to scratch. The meat was under-cooked and almost raw.”

After returning home Stephanie, of Domine Lane, contacted Sheffield law firm Irwin Mitchell in a bid to get compensation for the ruined holiday.

The company is now calling on travel agents Thomas Cook to work to resolve the matter for its clients.

Suki Chhokar, a specialist in the travel law team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “These three girls saw their hopes of a dream holiday ruined.”