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Hotel fined after pate poisons wedding guests.

A HOTEL chain has been fined PS11,000 after a wedding party was struck down by food poisoning caused by contaminated chicken liver pate.

The Best Western George Hotel in Lichfield pleaded guilty at Stafford Magistrates Court to the offence.

The pate served to guests last May was contaminated with the campylobacter enteritis bacteria, causing 33 guests to fall ill, including a child.

One guest was hospitalised after the outbreak.

The George Hotel, on Bird Street, told the court that staff responsible for cooking the wedding breakfast no longer worked at the hotel, and that it no longer made its own pate.

A joint investigation carried out by the environmental health team at Lichfield Council and Public Health England revealed the chicken liver pate had not been safely produced, temperatures had not been monitored, and there were no written procedures for its production in place. Other issues identified included poor staff record-keeping and a lack of hand towels and soap in the staff toilet.

Councillor Colin Greatorex, cabinet member for housing and health at Lichfield District Council, said: "We take the safety of local residents and visitors to our district very seriously and it is vital that all of our establishments meet the highest standards in health, hygiene and safety, particularly given our reputation as a tourism destination. "This case goes to show that no matter how prestigious a venue, teams responsible for food production cannot let standards slip.

"They need to make sure they have the right processes and procedures in place at all times and have every member of staff adequately trained and monitored. I would like to thank our environmental health team for carrying out such an efficient investigation and the team at The George for their willingness to work with us throughout the process."

The hotel chain was ordered to pay just over PS11,000 in fines and court costs.

Hotel general manager Mark Santy said: "Our team has always prided itself on high standards of food preparation and therefore we would like to sincerely apologise to all those who were affected by this isolated incident.

"We are naturally devastated by this unprecedented case of food poisoning and would like to point out that the two chefs who were working at the hotel in May 2015 no longer work for us. We serve over 23,000 meals a year and the hotel has held a four-star environmental health rating for a number of years.

"The council is satisfied by the improvements we have made in our kitchen and we would like to make it clear that we have not had any further cases of this kind."


The George Hotel in Lichfield

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 4, 2016
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