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Food Borne Illnesses


Anyone hear anything about food borne illnesses in cuba?


Recently? Which area?


Havn’t heard anything from DFEIT or PHAC?

Did you see this in a news paper article?


Heard at BJ last month from a couple who normally vacation in Holguin area that there was a number of cases of food poisoning at a Resort in that area. Until confirmed by others, I can’t guarantee the accuracy of this information so don’t hold me to it !


Found this on the PHAC website:
Cholera cases have been reported in Cuba since first reports of an outbreak in July 2012. Following Hurricane Sandy, there have been cases of cholera reported in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Camagüey and Guantanamo. Since early January, the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba has reported an increase in the number of cases of illness with diarrhea in Cerro, a municipality in the capital city Havana. Cases were also later reported in other areas of the city. To date, tests have confirmed 51 cases of cholera.
Source: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/thn-csv/cholera-cdrh-eng.php


Hope this is all cleared up by April 20th…at least in the Holguin area!


Not to minimize the very real danger of food-borne diseases, but my observation from many trips to many places is that the guests are their own worst enemies. (1) If you have been drinking heavily for several days, your stomach isn’t happy. Don’t blame it on the food, please.
(2) Wash your hands! Often! Assume that the last person who touched the serving spoon in the buffet had the plague and sanitize your hands before you pick up your utensils or put food into your mouth with your hands.
(3) Take probiotic supplements before, during and after your vacation. Can’t hurt, might help.
And I truly hope none of you gets anything nasty.


Agree with you on your last posting here. People are so quick to blame the resorts, no matter what country you go to, when they get sick. Not taking in to consideration what they may of picked up from another guest. Whether it started on the airplane (People don’t cancel vacations because they are under the weather) or to the serving spoons as you mentioned.

Let alone the three items you mentioned, there is also the fact that people when they get to the tropics they see fresh fruit and they go hog wild. Sure it tastes a lot better, but moderation please. Your tummy will rebel.


There was a thread on TA a couple days ago reporting that his wife had a confirmed case of Salmonella. He said she had a couple of undercooked omelets. DUH, if it ain’t cooked right, don’t eat it dummy. It was at Riu Playa Turquesa. I have seen 1st hand, people telling the server that there omelet was good enough, cause they are in a hurry; when it should have been still on the grill. Then they blame the resort.


A properly trained cook would never, ever serve something undercooked that may carry any illness. Yes, people make stupid requests but I would blame the cook. The staff are supposed to be properly trained.

In Jan. I had to ask the cook to put the pork back on the grill when he wanted to serve me obviously red and undercooked pork.
The day before, I asked another cook to serve me fish when it was fully cooked, yet he insisted upon overcooking it for another 2 min. I refused the overcooked fish and walked away. It didn’t help that he kept pouring cooking oil all over the fish. Do I want to eat cheap oil or fresh fish?

Honestly, I doubt the Salmonella came from the undercooked omelet but I wasn’t there and didn’t test it. The way Cubans cook omelets make it unlikely. Yes, poultry is a leading cause but the omelet would have to be very raw. Salmonella can come from just about anything in the food chain due to cross contamination or from water that is contaminated.


The thing is, we will never know what the cause was, or if the story is true. As a professionally trained chef, I would not have served the omelet until it was done properly, no matter how many times they asked and I would have had a fit if one of my cooks did it. The problem is that most of the people that work these stations at the resorts, in all likelyhood, have little or no training and get tired of dealing with grouchy obnoxious people. That is still not an excuse for serving under or over cooked food. I have had many excellent properly cooked omelets at the Blau and Sol Rio in Holguin though.


Dax and Jimbo - you got it! Why oh why do people still eat it, even if it doesn’t look right? Or even worse doesn’t taste ‘right’.


Many people have no taste? ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile:

Seriously, fact is that most food borne problems cannot be seen or tasted. After running an upscale restaurant in Canada and knowing how many of the trained staff do not obey or properly understand food handling, I cringe to think what goes on in the kitchens I visit in Cuba, Mexico or parts of Europe, let alone elsewhere in Canada. That is why all the ‘chains’ rely on frozen food. Much less chance of contamination during handling at the restaurant.

I will wholeheartedly agree that far too many people are pigs and eat food without checking but you have no way of knowing if Carlos used the bathroom without properly washing just before he put his hands on the cucumber slices in your hamburger.

My personal answer is to either stay at higher end resorts where I hope the staff are better trained and the place is cleaner OR stay at resorts that are smaller & cheaper that have long term staff. There are lots of resorts that have had the same staff for decades and that often indicates a better degree of familiarity with the job.

The only other solution is to drink in excess, then you assume it’s the booze. ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile:


The only other solution is to drink in excess, then you assume it’s the booze.

Amen to that Dax. Drink enough and maybe it will kill the bug.