A government travel alert over food poisoning in Mexico was issued yesterday after almost 150 British holidaymakers fell ill. 

Public Health England advised people planning to travel to the Riviera Maya coast in Mexico to be aware of the risk of infection from food and water bug, cyclospora, following an increase in reported cases.

PHE said it was aware of an increase in incidents of the infection which can cause diarrhoea, nausa and fever.

“There have been 204 cases reported in the UK since June 1, with 148 cases from holidaymakers who stayed in a number of different hotels and resorts on the Riviera Maya coast,” PHE said. “Investigations into the source of infection are ongoing.”

The infection is transmitted through consumption of food or water that is contaminated by cyclospora. Foods often implicated in outbreaks include soft fruits like raspberries and salad ingredients such as coriander, basil and lettuce.

PHE said: “Travellers to Mexico are strongly advised to maintain a high standard of food, water and personal hygiene, even if staying in high-end resorts. There is no risk of the bug being passed from person to person.” 

Dr Vanessa Field, deputy director of the National Travel Health Network and Centre, said: “It is very important to reinforce the need for travellers going to tropical or subtropical countries, including Mexico, to follow good food and water hygiene advice at all times on holiday, even if staying in high-end, all-inclusive resorts.

“Avoid buffets and choose recently prepared, thoroughly cooked food that is served piping hot.

“Avoid fresh uncooked berries or unpeeled fruit and any salad items not washed in safe water. Remember that drinks may also contain uncooked herbs, vegetables or fruit.”