Mother-of-two dies after accidentally eating uncooked chicken at a hotel restaurant
Depending on where you go and how you like to travel, eating abroad can be a little bit of a lottery. The late Anthony Bourdain made a pretty good career of going around the world and trying different foods and cuisines, and even if you're nowhere near as cool as that guy was, you can have a good time nonetheless.
That being said, if you're a picky eater or if you've got specific dietary requirements, simply heading out and picking up some street food might not be such a good idea. That's where the good old hotel meal comes in handy; once you trudge home from your miscellaneous misadventures, you can head downstairs for dinner, or even order food to your room.
But sometimes, getting restaurant food can be a less than ideal experience; sometimes, as this British family holidaying in Greece found, restaurant food can turn out to be downright deadly. They're filing a lawsuit against a hotel restaurant in Corfu after the matriarch of the family tragically died after eating chicken, which they believe was uncooked.
The incident occurred back in August 2017, where 37-year-old Natalie Rawnsley and her husband Stewart were holidaying with their two sons. They were taking part in a holiday buffet at the hotel, when Natalie noticed something strange with her chicken.
“Natalie started to eat hers and as she cut the chicken the chicken oozed red blood to which point I commented it looked bloody,” Stewart recalled, as he spoke to the Hertfordshire Mercury. "She got up took it back replaced the chicken with a different piece and came back and ate it. She had had a few mouthfuls of the other piece of chicken."
Bullet dodged, this family thought - but then, Natalie fell ill. She began throwing up in the wee hours of the next morning, and after visiting a doctor, she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis. When the vomiting didn't subside, however, Stewart decided to get a second opinion.
“The second doctor said because she had been sick for so long she needed additional medical help so she was going to the medical center a number of kilometers away from the hotel," he said. Natalie continued to deteriorate, however, and soon she was moved to a hospital on the mainland. She couldn't move by that point, and her demise came shortly after.
"We were outside the door and they were in there five or ten minutes and then the same nurse came out and apologized as there wasn’t anything more she could do, and Natalie died."
Dr Shirley Radcliffe, the assistant coroner, agreed that Rawsnley had likely contracted E. coli from the buffet chicken, but also intimated that depending on your genes, food poisoning can develop into disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), which prevents your blood from clotting, which in turn affects your ability to stop bleeding.
“The timeline fits very well with her having developed initially gastroenteritis, but then this additional condition DIC that certain individuals can develop,” Dr Radcliffe explained. “We have to consider it’s very patient-specific; some patients will be susceptible to this and some will not.”