Police Food Poisoning Highlights Importance Of Hygiene

Former Shop Owner Given Suspended Sentence


A case of food poisoning which left nearly 50 police officers seriously ill highlights why shop owners and caterers need to make hygiene a priority, according to a legal expert.

Former Birmingham shop owner Muriel Morris was given a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to breaking food hygiene legislation over a 2009 incident which saw her provide sandwiches to a protest briefing.

One of the offences related to tuna which was used in the sandwiches and contained Staphylococcus aureus organisms, meaning it was not fit to be eaten by humans.

As well as being given the suspended sentence, Mrs Morris, 70, was ordered to pay legal costs of over £16,000 and accept a night-time curfew for a month.

She no longer runs the shop at the centre of the investigation.

Katrina Elsey, who deals with public liability cases related to food poisoning for Irwin Mitchell, said: “The outcome of this case highlights just how seriously food hygiene cases are taken by the authorities.

“Guidelines and procedures are in place for a reason and can ensure that any cases of avoidable illness are avoided.

“This case must serve as an example to all catering and food-related businesses that they cannot afford to ignore the importance of cleanliness and hygiene, as they could be serious consequences if they do so.”