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Holiday health warning as Mexican food poisoning leaves 150 Brits in agony

Tourists heading to Mexico have been urged to watch what they eat and drink. Credit: Reuters

Scroll down for holiday travel advice on eating and drinking

A holiday health warning has been issued after nearly 150 Britons were struck down with agonising bouts of food poisoning after trips to Mexico.

Public Health England (PHE) told people to be aware of the risk of infection from a food and water bug, cyclospora, if staying in hotels and resorts on the country's eastern Riviera Maya coastline.

Symptoms can include diarrhoea, appetite loss, stomach cramps and pain, bloating, increased wind, weight loss, nausea or tiredness.

204
The total number of food poisoning cases reported in the UK since June 1.
148
The number of food poisoning cases involving people who holidayed on Mexico's Riviera Maya coast.

People holidaying in Mexico over the summer were urged to take care of their eating and drinking and to get medical advice for any symptoms, both during the trip and upon return to the UK.

"If you are ill when you get home, remember to tell your GP about your travel history," said Dr Katherine Russell, head of travel at PHE.

The Riviera Maya runs along Mexico's northeastern Caribbean coastline. Credit: Bing

Travel health experts said the need to follow good food and water hygiene advice applied at all times on holiday in tropical or subtropical countries, even if staying in high-end, all-inclusive resorts.

Dr Vanessa Field, deputy director of the National Travel Health Network and Centre, offered the following advice:

  • Avoid buffets and choose recently prepared, thoroughly cooked food that is served piping hot.
  • Avoid fresh uncooked berries or unpeeled fruit and any salad items not washed in safe water.
  • Remember that drinks may also contain uncooked herbs, vegetables or fruit.

PHE said of the 204 food poisoning cases reported in the UK since June 1, 148 involved holidaymakers who stayed in hotels and resorts on the Riviera Maya coast.