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Lastminute.com accommodation-only supplier Med Hotels has signed up to use Check Safety First’s online health and safety audit management system e-Cristal.

The system’s food hygiene programme will be recommended by Med Hotels to contracted properties in Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia initially.

Food hygiene check are currently carried out by Med Hotels in its 2,500 hotels as part of annual audits but the Check Safety First system has been adopted to provide information online to help manage any areas that require further attention.

Group trade director of Med Hotels Carl Burrows said: “We’ve always been quick to respond if we uncover poor hygiene standards, and working with Check Safety First will enable us to increase our levels of pro-activity and the extent to which we and our contracted hotels can protect customers against food related illnesses.”

It is estimated compensation claims from customers cost the UK travel industry around £50 million annually, and food related illnesses are the most common cause of a claim.

Check Safety First chairman Steve Tate said it was increasingly important agents and operators protected their customers from becoming ill with the rise in dynamic packaging.

“Although there is still a degree of confusion as to who is liable in the event that a holidaymaker tries to sue for becoming ill, the case for developing and utilising a rick management system is becoming stronger with every claim that hits the headlines.”