Khyber Pass Takeaway E. Coli Outbreak: Owners Given Suspended Sentences

Lawyers Call For Lessons To Be Learned From Outbreak

28.09.2015

Specialist Public Health lawyers have urged for lessons to be learned after the owners of the Khyber Pass takeaway in Nottingham were sentenced for hygiene offences which led to a major E. coli outbreak.

142 takeaway customers were taken seriously ill after their meals were reportedly contaminated with human faeces. The court heard that one 13-year-old victim was rushed to intensive care where she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis.

Amjad Bhatti and Mohammed Basit, pleaded guilty and were both given four month suspended prison sentences as well as being ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work. The owners admitted that their staff did not wash their hands when using the toilet and it was revealed that nine of the 12 employees who handled food at the Khyber Pass, in Hyson Green, were found to have traces of the bacteria. 

More than 100 customers were sick for up to two months and the particular strain of E. coli was so severe that it’s only the second recorded case in Europe and was last reported in Italy during the Second World War.

Highlighting the impact this negligence had on the parents and children who fell ill, the NHS, and employers who had to cover for sick employees, the judge said: “If you make money by supplying cooked food to members of the public, you owe a real duty of care to ensure that people will not be made unwell by your disregard for food safety and hygiene regulations. This is not simply red tape that you have failed to comply with.”

Irwin Mitchell’s expert Public Health team have represented thousands of clients who have suffered serious health issues as a result of illness outbreaks arising from bacterial infections including e-coli, salmonella and cryptosporidium, in the UK and abroad, including those linked to restaurants and takeaways.

Early this year over 350 people were struck down with Norovirus after visiting the Toby Carvery Pub in Exeter and a further 30 instructed Irwin Mitchell after suffering from Salmonella poisoning after eating at the Real China restaurant in Eastleigh.

Irwin Mitchell also represents people who suffered E-coli after eating meat sold by Robinson’s Butchers in the North East and those who contracted the bacteria after attending the Newcastle Spice Festival in 2013.

Expert Opinion
“The hygiene offences committed by staff at the Khyber Pass takeaway shows a complete lack of regard for their customers and the general public’s safety.

“We’ve seen far too many cases over the years when people have been affected by illnesses which could and should have been avoided. E. Coli is a particularly serious illness that as well as causing uncomfortable short term symptoms, can cause vulnerable victims, such as children and older people, to develop further complications which blight them in the long term.

“It is vital that, where possible, lessons are learned from this case to ensure that the hygiene problems – particularly on this shocking scale – are simply not repeated again.

“We would like to hear from anyone who has been effected to get in touch as they may be able to help with our investigations.”
Jatinder Paul, Associate