Food Poisoning Nightmare For Wedding Party
Greenford catering firm broke a number of food and hygiene regulations
Guests at a wedding reception were struck down with food poisoning after eating potentially lethal rice supplied by a Greenford business.
The catering company responsible - Royal Club restaurant operators’ B&T Catering Limited and Thapa - was taken to court and been given a £20,111.44 penalty.
The company’s sole director, Mr Biku Thapa was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and is banned from being a director of any company for five years.
Ealing Council's food safety team were first alerted by the father of the bride on 24 September 2013, who contacted them alleging that most of the 470 wedding guests at the reception in Hertfordshire had been struck down with suspected food poisoning. However, the prosecution could only be based on the 93 guests who formally reported their symptoms of food poisoning to investigators.
Following the complaint, Ealing food safety officers launched a suspected outbreak investigation in conjunction with the Public Health England North West London Health Protection Unit.
Inspections of the Royal Club kitchen 116 – 118 Ruislip Road, Greenford, revealed serious food hygiene violations and inadequate food safety management procedures; such as poor temperature control and poor cleaning. The business was immediately prohibited from providing outside catering due to the lack of adequate facilities.
Only one member of staff was trained in food safety. Both the head chef and remaining staff had not received any food safety training at all.
The Royal Club had no refrigerated vehicles in which to safely transport food to events so should not have been providing an outside catering service.
Investigators linked the food poisoning with the consumption of cooked rice. The rice, which was prepared by the Royal Club, was judged by a Public Health England food examiner as “potentially injurious to health and/or unfit for human consumption” after it was tested and found to contain both E.coli and Bacillus bacteria.
E.coli bacteria is associated with faecal contamination and Bacillus bacteria are often associated with cooked rice that has not been cooled and stored at safe temperatures.
On 4th September this year, Royal Club restaurant operators’ B&T Catering Limited and Thapa pleaded guilty to five offences under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 and a single offence under the General Food Regulations 2004.
Ealing’s deputy leader and cabinet member for community services and safety, Councillor Ranjit Dheer said:
“This awful case highlights how serious food contamination can be. It’s frightening that so many people were struck down at a large event like this and even more alarming to think there could have been fatal consequences. It’s especially sad that a happy occasion like a wedding should have ended up like this.
“I am full of praise for the joint efforts of Ealing’s food safety team and Public Health England for successfully dealing with this outbreak and ensuring the owners of this food business paid the price. I hope it sends a clear message to caterers and restaurants that poor food hygiene can lead to serious illness and the closure of their business.”
Residents are urged to check the food hygiene rating of local businesses at www.food.gov.uk. Anyone concerned that a business is breaching food hygiene regulations should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8825 6666.
November 26th 2014