Golf club fined over paté starter
A CONGRESBURY golf club has been fined £25,000 after guests at a wedding reception were poisoned by a pate starter.
A total of 46 guests attending the wedding reception at Mendip Spring Golf Club in April last year fell ill after eating the duck liver pate, with one being admitted to hospital for treatment, a court heard.
Some of the guests were acutely ill with symptoms of diarrhoea and severe stomach cramps, resulting in them missing work.
Officers from North Somerset Council's food and safety team investigated following complaints from members of the wedding party. They found the same bacteria responsible for the outbreak was present in a subsequent batch of duck liver pate which was being offered as a bar special ten days after the reception.
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At a hearing at North Somerset Magistrates' Court, the company which runs the club, Yeo Finance Ltd, and one of the directors, Ian Harrison, pleaded guilty to three offences relating to the contravention of food hygiene regulations. The company also pleaded guilty to an additional two offences of serving unsafe food. Magistrates fined the company £25,000 and Mr Harrison £3,000 for the offences and ordered them to pay collective costs of £4,823.50.
North Somerset Council said the couple, who had asked not to be named, had been left "utterly humiliated" by the incident.
The council's executive member for food safety, Peter Bryant, said the authority worked with businesses to ensure standards were maintained.
But he added: "We will not hesitate to take legal action when there are serious breaches of food safety, and especially when these breaches are detrimental to people's health.
"It is a basic fundamental requirement to ensure the safety of food and the level of the fine imposed reflects how seriously the magistrates viewed this case."