Restaurant owner fined nearly £10k
A SUFFOLK owner who poisoned at least 28 customers with an extremely rare strain of salmonella is nearly £10,000 poorer today.Hung Tat Chung, 45, was ordered to pay £4,200 in fines and £5,500 in costs at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday , and was given only three months to pay.
A SUFFOLK owner who poisoned at least 28 customers with an extremely rare strain of salmonella is nearly £10,000 poorer today.
Hung Tat Chung, 45, was ordered to pay £4,200 in fines and £5,500 in costs at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday , and was given only three months to pay.
The UK's first outbreak of salmonella enteritidis (Phage Type 34) occurred in 2002 after customers visited The New Peach Bower Chinese restaurant in Wickham Market.
Chung, who runs the restaurant, had pleaded guilty to selling food unfit for human consumption at an earlier hearing.
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He had also admitted three other unrelated counts of failing to ensure his premises were kept clean, failing to ensure equipment was clean and failing to undertake adequate and appropriate hazard analysis.
The court heard how egg fried rice containing salmonella bacteria was served to take away and restaurant customers on July 26, 2002.
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On July 30, 2002 the Suffolk Coastal District Council was given telephone notification from a clinical medical officer that there were five confirmed cases of salmonella, which were associated to the food served for days earlier.
Two environmental health officers went to the premises unannounced to conduct an investigation and found the restaurant in a "state of uncleanliness".
Prosecutor Ian De Prez said that by August 5, 2002, 28 people had tested positively for the food poisoning. He added that a total of about 40 people had shown symptoms of being ill.
The court heard that a temporary chef had been working that night and had cooked egg fried rice in advance to be reheated as customers ordered dishes.
It had been left out at room temperature, on what was described as one of the hottest days of the year, from about 4.30pm to 11pm.
Mr De Prez said this was an "unwise procedure and was asking for trouble".
Stephen Franklin, for Chung, said his client, opened The New Peach Bower about eight years ago with his wife and it had not been the subject of complaints and had been regularly inspected.
Sentencing Chung, Judge Thompson, said the case involved a "rare salmonella never seen before in this country".
He told Chung: "You deserve to suffer in your pocket and your pocket is going to hurt."