BA 208 Food Poisoning

Old May 7, 18, 10:17 am
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BA 208 Food Poisoning

Flew business class BA 208 MIA-LHR on Tu 24-April, MIA-LHR.
Unfortunately had salmon appetizer and turbot main course. Upon arrival in London, I began to feel ill, while visiting the BA lounge. Connected on BA to AMS. Was throwing up and sick on this leg.
Arrived in AMS, got to hotel, went directly to bed, still quite ill and had doctor house call - diagnosis - severe food poisoning. Only food I ate from midday 24-April on was BA food.
I am wondering if anyone else got sick, and how I can found out about that?
Seeking damages from BA - doctor visit, prescription drugs, and first 2 hotel nights that I missed vacation.
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Old May 7, 18, 10:53 am
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Food poisoning symptoms can start anywhere between a few hours and a number of days or even weeks after. It is worth contacting BA so they can see if there is a number of people affected.
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Old May 7, 18, 11:53 am
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To pinpoint a specific source then samples would be needed by the medical services at Amsterdam and then sent for analysis. Food poisoning must sometimes happen from airline meals but I can't recall a recent proven event on BA, quite a lot of care is taken to avoid this, on the whole. Apart from BA, the other people who could track this would be the Food Standards Agency, which can be done online.
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Old May 7, 18, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by DLBIZTRAVELER View Post
Flew business class BA 208 MIA-LHR on Tu 24-April, MIA-LHR.
Unfortunately had salmon appetizer and turbot main course. Upon arrival in London, I began to feel ill, while visiting the BA lounge. Connected on BA to AMS. Was throwing up and sick on this leg.
Arrived in AMS, got to hotel, went directly to bed, still quite ill and had doctor house call - diagnosis - severe food poisoning. Only food I ate from midday 24-April on was BA food.
I am wondering if anyone else got sick, and how I can found out about that?
Seeking damages from BA - doctor visit, prescription drugs, and first 2 hotel nights that I missed vacation.
I'm sorry to hear that you became ill - but, as has been well rehearsed on this forum, making a link with BA food is almost impossible. 'Feeling ill and throwing up' sounds like viral gastroenteritis is a high probability. The time from exposure to symptom onset can be as little as 6 hours or as long as a few days. So before being certain that the cause is BA food, consider whether in the few days before developing symptoms you might have been exposed to any other potential sources of an agent such as norovirus. Examples might be other food sources (especially anything resembling a buffet, particularly a salad bar!) use of bathrooms others may also have used (e.g. hotel rooms, public facilities in airports) or even touched any surfaces ( e.g. door handles, armrest, seatbelt catch...) and subsequently handling your food / touching your face without having washed your hands in between.

It's a long list of possible exposures, and especially while travelling. So, possible sources are likely to be much more extensive than BA food. Food borne illness on aircraft are notoriously difficult to trace back, particularly since affected people usually disperse widely after a flight and tend not to report symptoms. However, if you wish to report symptoms to be part of a possible 'cohort' you could inform BA, Heathrow Airport, and the Environmental Health department that covers Heathrow.

Hopefully your symptoms will be short-lived and you'll be able to get on with life as normal in a day or so. Just don't hold your breath on the damages issue.
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Old May 7, 18, 12:07 pm
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Wouldn't travel insurance cover the medical costs?
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Old May 7, 18, 12:07 pm
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Multiple people with these symptoms who've all been on BA208 that day would strongly point at BA's food as the source of the problem. Finding additional victims isn't very easy for an individual (and much easier for public health authorities and BA) but asking on a forum like this is probably not a bad idea.
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Old May 7, 18, 12:09 pm
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Your best option is travel insurance for any proven out of pocket expenses, otherwise just move on. These things happen when travelling and it's almost impossible to pin them down to one specific meal.
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Old May 7, 18, 12:13 pm
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I would never have the salmon appetizer and turbot main course. That's just asking for trouble in the bottom department
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Old May 7, 18, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by DLBIZTRAVELER View Post
Seeking damages from BA - doctor visit, prescription drugs, and first 2 hotel nights that I missed vacation.
I wouldn't get my hopes up. It's generally difficult to demonstrate that BA food was to blame. Get well soon.
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Old May 7, 18, 12:19 pm
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Really, I always each the fish onboard and as along serving crewmember let me say I have eaten plenty, never not even once have I been ill.
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Old May 7, 18, 12:28 pm
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I actually find the fish on BA to be pretty good.

Yes, it is sometimes overcooked, but that's not a bad thing if you're worried about food-poisoning.

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Old May 7, 18, 1:01 pm
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Sympathies to the OP but as others have suggested, numerous previous threads conclude that food poisoning can be the result of food eaten a number of days before the onset of the symptoms.

I eat the fish regularly because BA and steak simply aren't match made in heaven. Happy to say salmon starter and fish main have never caused a plumbing issue.
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Old May 7, 18, 2:35 pm
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Did the doctor take samples for testing?
If he did and it was confirmed as food poisoning I suspect you'll still have a job proving it was caused from eating airline food. Your travel insurance will almost certainly reimburse your medical bill without too much fuss if you provide evidence.
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Old May 7, 18, 2:37 pm
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I travel all over the world to may interesting places on different airlines. One of the things you learn is to avoid the food on inbound flights. It may have been on the aircraft a long time and in uncertain conditions. I do not know whether on this flight the MIA-LHR food would have been loaded in London or MIA. I am sure someone more knowledgeable can comment on that. If it was loaded in London, then it has sat in the aircraft for one flight plus more than 5 hours on the ground. Did the aircraft have power for all of that 5 hours to run the refrigeration? How far in advance was it prepared for the flight leaving LHR? And if it was prepared in MIA, it is pretty warm there, so at higher risk of food bugs.

I was a bit ill after my last BA inbound flight from Amman. Fortunately not too severe. It is a risk you have to accept unless you are prepared to starve yourself.
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Old May 7, 18, 2:40 pm
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Proving food poisoning in law is vv difficult, the main vector for infection is people touching their mouth and face area with dirty hands by a long long way...but then when people get sick they will (understandably) default to the last dogyish thing they ate when the infection could have come from literally anywhere in the last few weeks. A friend is a senior chef in a major international hotel chain - food poisoning complaints are something that happens on a regular (if not too frequent) basis. They have a procedure and I imagine the airlines would do something similar. When there is a complaint they go into the kitchens and they take samples from the food, from the environment. Obviously if the complaint isn't quick enough they can't sample the food itself but you'll be amazed how much of what you eat hangs around in walk ins and deep freeze. These samples get sent to a lab and tested for everything under the sun.

He says when there is one complaint noone cares, the individual probably blamed them for something else and the tests have always proved him right. It's when multiple people at the same service get something they know they've got something serious to worry about. So you should complain OP but unless there were others who do likewise and you get backed up the labs, I wouldn't hold your breath for recompense. Trust you recover swiftly.
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