Frimley Hall Hotel fined for food poisoning outbreak
By mattcollison | Monday, February 18, 2013, 13:47
A FIVE star hotel which caused dozens of wedding guests to become ill from food poisoning has been fined.
Frimley Hall Hotel
Dozens of diners celebrating the marriage of a Mr and Mrs Dunsford fell ill after eating a contaminated chicken liver parfait, served up at Frimley Hall Hotel on May 28, 2011.
Now its operators have been ordered to pay a £72,000 fine and costs for the food safety breaches.
Macdonald Frimley Hall pleaded guilty on February 12 to two charges including serving the contaminated chicken dish.
The second charge related to a failure to identify potential food safety hazards that could arise from the parfait so that steps can be taken to reduce or eliminate risk.
The fine followed an investigation by Surrey Heath Borough Council's environmental health team after 46 out of 89 guests at a wedding party fell ill after eating at the hotel. The investigation found they had all eaten chicken liver containing Campylobacter, a bacteria commonly found in the intestines of poultry and shed in their faeces.
Tim Pashen, the council's executive head of community, said: "Chicken liver is a well-publicised potential source of Campylobacter food poisoning and it is essential that such high risk products are cooked to a sufficient temperature and held at that temperature long enough to reasonably eliminate safety risks.
"In this case, the parfait had been cooked at too low a heat and there was no recording system in place to check how long it had been held at the necessary temperature. The recipe was new to the hotel and no regard had been given to clear and publicised warnings from the Food Standards Agency concerning the need to undertake rigorous checks."
The judge commented that the failures had resulted in an 'entirely foreseeable outcome'.
Macdonald Frimley Hall Limited was fined £15,000 for the first charge and £2,000 for the second. The company also agreed to pay Surrey Heath Borough Council £55,000 in respect of its costs of bringing the prosecution.
A Macdonald Hotels spokesman said: "Despite its five star food rating and its on-going due diligence the company would like to apologise for any distress that was caused to guests attending the function in question.
"The group's chief executive also contacted Mrs Dunsford immediately the case was settled to offer an unreserved apology on behalf of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts. Mr & Mrs Dunsford whose wedding was at the hotel were also offered a complimentary 'honeymoon' to one of the overseas Macdonald resorts as a further goodwill gesture.
"The management of the hotel have taken this unfortunate incident extremely seriously and it is pleased to confirm the hotel maintains its five star rating from Surrey Health Borough Council."