insurance for food poisoning

What Happens If I Suffer from Food Poisoning Whilst Travelling?

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The Unfortunate Reality of Food Poisoning

Embarking on a journey often comes with the thrill of experiencing new cuisines. However, sometimes this culinary adventure might take a sour turn, leading to food poisoning. A sudden bout of illness in a foreign country can be distressing, but understanding the situation and knowing the steps to take can provide some relief.

Recognising the Symptoms

It's essential to differentiate between a minor stomach upset and full-blown food poisoning. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and sometimes fever. The onset can be as quick as a few hours after consuming contaminated food or drink, or it might take a few days to manifest.

Immediate Steps to Take

Stay Hydrated: One of the primary concerns with food poisoning is dehydration, especially if one experiences vomiting or diarrhoea. It's vital to drink plenty of water, even if in small sips, to stay hydrated.

Medical Attention: Depending on the severity, it might be necessary to seek medical attention. Many travel insurance policies in the UK provide support for such medical emergencies, and it's advisable to contact them as soon as possible.

Insurance Implications: A UK Perspective

Travel insurance is often a saving grace for many travellers from the UK. However, the extent of assistance can vary significantly depending on the policy details.

Medical Costs: Many policies will cover the cost of necessary medical treatment required due to food poisoning. This might include consultations, medication, and even hospitalisation if required.

Repatriation: In extreme cases, if the traveller requires medical repatriation to the UK, a comprehensive travel insurance policy may cover these costs, ensuring the traveller is safely transported home for further treatment.

Interruption or Curtailment: If food poisoning severely disrupts the travel itinerary, some insurance policies may provide compensation for the lost days or for any pre-booked activities that the traveller couldn't partake in due to illness.

Documentation and Evidence

It's paramount to keep any documentation related to the illness. This includes medical reports, prescriptions, and receipts for any expenses incurred. Such documentation can be instrumental when making a claim with the insurance company upon return to the UK.

Prevention: Better Safe Than Sorry

Whilst it's not always possible to prevent food poisoning entirely, travellers can take certain measures to minimise the risk.

Safe Consumption: It's advisable to consume well-cooked foods and avoid street food in areas known for poor sanitation. Drinking bottled water and avoiding ice in drinks can also reduce the risk of contamination.

Vaccination: For certain destinations, there are vaccinations available that can provide protection against common food and water-borne diseases.

Impact on Further Travels

Recovery from food poisoning can vary, with some individuals bouncing back quickly, whilst others might feel drained for days. It's essential to listen to one's body and not push too hard. Resuming travels should be based on recovery and well-being rather than a fixed itinerary.


Experiencing food poisoning whilst travelling can be a daunting ordeal. However, with a combination of preparedness, awareness, and the right travel insurance, the impact can be managed. It's always advisable for travellers from the UK to be familiar with their insurance policy details and ensure they have the necessary contact numbers at hand. Forewarned is forearmed, and a little knowledge can go a long way in ensuring that travel memories are not marred by unforeseen illnesses.

Note: This article offers general advice and may not cover specific situations. Always consult with a professional or your policy documentation for detailed guidance.

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