A 71 year old woman became ill and died from food poisoning after eating roast lamb at a Cornish pub. The Morning Advertiser reports that the Christine Morgan became ill after eating at the Clock & Key in Trispen, Cornwall and died the next day; another diner also became ill but recovered. The pub’s owner pleaded guilty to service of unfit food and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £23,836.09. Manager Diane Elizabeth Burrow also pleaded guilty. She had prepared the lamb the weekend before it was reheated and served to the customer.
Mike Williams, Director of STS, says: “This death was completely avoidable and it is so disappointing that this pub management and catering team have not learned the lessons of the Railway Pub in Hornchurch where a Christmas meal caused the fatality of Della Callagher as a result of Clostridium poisoning.
“Maintaining temperature control when storing, preparing, cooking and cooling foods is an essential cog in the wheel of ensuring that food is safe. Allowing uncontrolled cooling can provide ideal conditions for the growth of Clostridium perfringens which can, and has so unfortunately in this case, cause food poisoning symptoms and even death. This is also a rather salutary lesson in not preparing foods too far in advance of consumption as this may allow pathogens to grow to sufficient numbers to cause food poisoning.
“Training staff appropriately and also heeding advice given seems to have been a failure in this case. Whether provided by enforcement officers or consultants, training and advice is usually given for the right reasons. Ignorance is never a defence and in this case, a seeming lack of care has had tragic consequences. Food businesses should pay attention to this incident and look to their own systems.”