Southampton Magistrates Court has imposed a heavy fine on a restaurant in Hampshire where filthy conditions led to a food poisoning outbreak in which almost 100 diners were affected.
The Real China Restaurant in Eastleigh was found to have had poor cleaning and disinfectant techniques and inappropriate systems for washing up. In addition there were other hygiene offences including raw meat being disinfected in a sink and a door between the toilet and kitchen being wedged open.
The food poisoning outbreak was the most serious ever dealt with by Hampshire Council- approximately 100 diners were confirmed to have suffered from salmonella poisoning which were linked to the restaurant. Some of these needed hospitalisation and for others the symptoms are still not resolved.
The prosecution and fine imposed here is welcome. We deal with food poisoning cases as a specialist form of injury claim and we are keenly aware that food poisoning is often much more serious than is often reported. We dealt with many of the cases from this outbreak and there are cases that are still not resolved because of the continuing symptoms.
We thoroughly endorse a hard line being taken against restaurants where food hygiene is not absolutely the first priority. We hope that this case – appalling though it was- will send the necessary message to all other restaurants that if they do not keep high standards of hygiene they will face serious consequences.