The widow of an elderly British tourist who died after falling ill with salmonella poisoning at a luxury Italian hotel has called for better safety standards at holiday resorts.
Jean Appleyard and her husband, Geoffrey, aged 71, were staying at the four-star Grand Hotel in the Gardone resort on the shores of Lake Garda last year when both began to suffer from fever and stomach pains.
Mr Appleyard, from Evesham, Worcestershire, was seen by the hotel’s on-site doctor but remained ill in his room and died the following day, on June 23.
A post-mortem examination carried out by the Italian authorities revealed salmonella type B in his bloodstream.
An inquest at South Worcestershire Coroners’ Court yesterday recorded a verdict of misadventure after hearing evidence that the salmonella poisoning Mr Appleyard contracted contributed to his death.
Coroner Geraint Williams said: “Although the hotel seemed very picturesque, there was a very dark side in the kitchen and cellars where there was a virulent contamination of salmonella in the foodstuffs.
“This was served to the guests and, as a consequence, a large number became ill. Mr Appleyard died because he was not able to withstand this infection.”
The Italian authorities confirmed that salmonella was detected at the hotel.
Mrs Appleyard welcomed the verdict from the inquest and said it had finally given her the answers she needed.
“I have always been convinced that salmonella was a major factor in my husband’s death,” she said.
“We went to the Grand Hotel for a luxury holiday. It is simply appalling that we fell ill and Geoffrey contracted something as serious as salmonella at a hotel like that.
“Tour operators have to ensure they are doing everything they possibly can to make sure holidaymakers are protected from outbreaks like this.”
Law firm Irwin Mitchell is now representing Mrs Appleyard, as well as 32 other guests who fell ill at the same hotel in June last year.