Takeaway boss in E.coli outbreak given jail warning

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A MOTHER suffered a seizure and went into a coma after eating food from a takeaway.

Wrexham librarian Karen Morrisroe spent three months in hospital – where she also picked up the hospital superbug, MRSA – and had been psychologically damaged as a result of her illness, Mold Crown Court was told.

Ramazan Aslan, former operator of the Llay Fish Bar, admitted six food hygiene offences brought by Wrexham Council.

Anthony Vines, prosecuting, said there were five primary cases of E.coli which could be linked to the takeaway, although some victims had gone on to contaminate other members of their family, so-called secondary infections.

Visits by council officers had discovered pizza toppings at the takeaway which had
flies walking on them, a lack of handwashing materials and clothes in handbasins which were also put over frozen doner kebabs.

Aslan, 35, of Victoria Road, Ellesmere Port, had never owned the takeaway but was the “food business operator”.

A microbiologist consulted by the council found his food management system was “woefully inadequate”.

On July 16, 2009, various members of the public had bought food from the Llay Fish Bar, said Mr Vines.

Sarah Hennessey and her daughter, Karen Morrisroe, Michelle Salisbury and Richard Jones all became primary cases struck down with e-coli.

Council officials soon discovered the common link in all the cases was the Llay Fish Bar.

Aslan admitted failing to protect food in that cooked and ready-to-eat food was not protected at all stages of production, processing and distribution against contamination, likely to render the food unfit for human consumption.

He failed to notify the council he had become the food business operator at the fish bar in Council Street, failed to put in place permanent procedures to identify hazards or corrective actions, he failed to ensure his food management procedures were up to date and failed to have adequate pest control procedures.

Doors were said to be kept open without insect proof screens and an electrical fly killer was not working.

There were no materials for the cleaning or hygienic drying of hands in the food preparation area, no hand drying materials in the staff WC and the hand-wash basin was not available for washing hands because it was used for storing clothes.

Aslan also admitted that being responsible for the development of a food safety management procedure at the premises, he had received inadequate training.

In her victim statement, Karen Morrisroe said her illness had resulted in “unbearable stomach pains”, being severely dehydrated, suffering kidney failure and a small seizure.

She spent nine weeks in intensive care, went into a coma and was on life support receiving plasma. She underwent a tracheotomy suffered septicaemia and a collapsed lung.

Other victims included an 11-month-old baby, two three-year-old girls and a five-year-old child.

Patrick Thompson, defending, said: “Mr Aslan deeply regrets the illnesses he has caused which have had a very traumatic effect on people. He is deeply distressed.”

He would now never work in the food industry again, something he had done since he was 16. Married with two young children, he was now a part-time shop assistant earning £91 a week.

Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said he would sentence Aslan next week after reading all background reports. But in granting him bail, he told him that he should not interpret that as meaning there would not be a prison sentence.

See full story in the Leader

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