A MAN who booked a holiday to cheer up his grieving partner said he became violently ill after eating food he claims birds had defecated on.
Stephen Redfern and Chantel Craig from Burnley ate from the hotel buffet for days before they said they witnessed the birds flying in over the food.
Mr Redfern, 36, took pictures in the restaurant at the Fuerteventura Princess Hotel in the Canary Islands.
He also recorded a video where he is heard explaining there was bird excrement on the sausages as a man he said was a waiter responds with 'fish'.
The Edgworth Grove resident, who is unemployed, spent his £1,295 savings on the week away to try to cheer up his girlfriend, 41, whose dad had died recently.
He said: “I booked it on the Thursday and we went on the Saturday.
“I booked the trip for her as a surprise because her father had just died and she was down in the dumps.
"I thought it would cheer her up but it just made things even worse.
“It was a four-star hotel so we were really looking forward to it.
"When we first got there we didn’t know there was bird faeces in the food so God knows what we ate.
"It was only a few days later when we saw them flying in and pooing on the food.
"I pointed out the poo on some sausages but the waiter said it was fish. I told him I’d seen the bird do it but he wouldn’t listen.
“There were birds just sitting on plates of food.”
Keen to get the hotel’s restaurant to address the hygiene issues, Mr Redfern said he reported what he’d seen at reception and tracked down his holiday rep who witnessed the problems himself.
However Mr Redfern said nothing changed.
Despite the high temperatures, the couple said they were forced to live on soup for the rest of their trip as it was the only thing on offer that was covered.
Mr Redfern said: “We couldn’t even eat the bread because there were birds sat in it.
"By the end of the trip we couldn’t eat anyway because we were sick.
"We went to see the doctor and he said we had food poisoning.
“It was a real shock, especially because it was a special trip.
"I wanted to take my girlfriend away to wine and dine her but we both ended up getting sick.
"I wasted all that money to surprise her and it just made her sick.”
The couple contacted Slater and Gordon Lawyers to pursue a claim against Thomson.
They said the tour operator failed to maintain basic standards at the hotel during their holiday between March 18 and March 25.
Hannah Crosby, a travel specialist at the law firm, said: “When people go on holiday to a nice resort, the last thing they expect is for the food they’re eating to be contaminated with animal waste.
"From the evidence we’ve received it seems standards of food hygiene and health and safety were not maintained with reasonable care on the holiday, which allowed the outbreak of the illness to occur and caused our clients’ holidays to be spoilt.
“It’s the hotel’s basic duty to ensure that the food they serve is fit for human consumption.”
Thompson was unavailable for comment.