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Now wash your hands -

Observer II

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Seems two more guests from the Egyptian Hotel saga have been diagnosed with a potentially fatal bacterial infection (shigella).  As we've seen from past outbreaks in our hospitals, these incidents boil down to a lack of basic hygiene standards, like washing hands after visiting the toilet and not wearing surgical gloves when handling food.  So when Travel Companies book these hotels one would expect them to lay down the law on hygiene standards and inspection monitoring. Alas, that may increase the price of the holiday, which seems to be the main draw for most.        

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There was a TV programme on a few months back regarding foreign holiday and the * ratings we see when making a decision of where to book.  For the life of me I can't remember what it was called or post a link but I think it might have been the TV show with Gloria Honiford? and the other two blond women.

Anyway people were complaining about 5* holiday accomodation hotels abroad that they had booked but when arriving were finding squalid conditions and certainly not the 5* they had expected.  Upshot of it all was here in the UK we do have a governing body who rate the * system over he regarding facilities, hygene, food etc etc ...but when it comes to holidays and hotels abroad the same ruled DON'T apply.  They said most * ratings for other countries are rated by bodies in those countries themselves and their own levels of what they deem to be acceptable and those are the * ratings we then see.   It was asked WHY there can't be an overall standards body covering all countries so that all had to comply to the same levels but the upshot was that it wasn't possible, couldn't be enforced and therefore wouldn't work.

Makes a bit of a mockery of the travel and holiday star system as a whole though eh if you are travelling abroad....not that it will affect me as I never go on holiday :(

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As I understand it, the Travel Companies send out their reps to inspect (?) hotels prior to inclusion in their brochures. Whether these reps are trained in such issues as hygiene compliance, I don't know; but you would think, given the amount of money involved through tourism, they would have a good deal of leverage with Governments to ensure safe standards for their clients.

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I do wonder about the reps they send out. They may well be fully qualified in all aspects of quality assessment, but do the establishments have prior knowledge of the reps visit.

Fairly easy to have everything up to scratch if you have advanced warning of an inspection. "right peeps inspection  next Tuesday lets get the place scrubbed up clean uniforms for everyone on the day, make a big show of washing hands and wearing gloves, that five star rating will be a cinch. Get it wrong and it,s back to the street sweeping for the lot of you"

People probably think of holiday reps as portrayed in the carry on style films. either bumbling out of their depth buffoons or just out to pull as many young girls and get smashed on the cheap booze every night. Although maybe not these days.

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