Cradley pub hit with £4k bill after 20 cases of food poisoning

Bosses at a popular Cradley pub and carvery have been landed a court bill of almost £4,000 after 20 of their customers suffered food poisoning.

Four groups of people, including a 94-year-old lady and several children, who had eaten at the Park Lane Tavern in Park Lane contacted Dudley Council with symptoms of food poisoning.

Wolverhampton Magistrates Court heard the groups ate the carvery in a two hour slot on Saturday April 2 last year, following which 20 customers were confirmed as suffering from Clostridium Perfringens food poisoning.

The bug is often associated with inadequate cooling of large joints of meat, where bacteria can form a toxin which survives cooking and then grows in the meat whilst cooling, causing illness shortly after being reheated and consumed. Two left over samples of turkey taken home by customers were also found to be contaminated with the bacteria.

Environmental Health officers also visited the pub and found poor practices in the kitchen, including inadequate storage temperatures of cooked joints, a lack of monitoring of cooling times and temperatures of cooked meats and inadequate record keeping.

IP Carvery Ltd put forward a formal public apology to the court and advised that the company now employed a food safety expert to advise them, who now regularly inspects the company’s premises. They said that staff had also been retrained.

IP Carvery Ltd, the food business operator at the Park Lane Tavern pleaded guilty in court on May 18 to an offence of placing unsafe food on the market in a case brought by Dudley Council.

The company was fined £1,350 and ordered to pay costs of £2,483.55 to Dudley Council and a victim surcharge of £120. It is understood that the company’s insurers have also received compensation claims on behalf of affected customers. Nick Powell, head of environmental health at Dudley Council, said:

“Serious food safety errors were made in this case which put the health of customers at risk and caused illness in 20 people, who fortunately recovered but the outcome could have been far worse as young children and the elderly are often more severely affected by food poisoning.

"Whilst we prefer to work with businesses to secure compliance with the law, we will not hesitate to take legal action against the minority of food businesses proprietors who fail to meet their legal responsibilities and put public health at risk as a result."

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