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Former “Chip Shop” Owner Faces Charges

Ramazan Asian, former owner of the Llay Fish Bar in northern Wales, must appear before the town magistrate’s court on Sept. 23, the Wrexham Council has ordered.

The Llay Fish Bar, which sold fish and chips for take-out, was associated with a July 2009 outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that infected four people, including a three-year old girl.

The National Public Health Service for Wales said in 2009 that the Llay Fish Bar, which is now operating under a different name and new ownership, was the likely source of the contamination.

In the Sept. 23 proceedings, Asian is being charged with a number of food hygiene offenses.

The restaurant was closed for 5 weeks after the outbreak, but was allowed to re-open in September 2009 after the investigation and inspection gave the “chip shop” its license back.

At the time, the solicitor representing Asian said there was no scientific evidence to show the chip shop was responsible for the outbreak.  He said the only common factor was that all the people affected bought food at the fish bar, but there is no evidence the E. coli came from the fish bar.

He said the chip shop was clean and well run, and that Asian had 17 years experience in the food business.

The family of one victim was critical of the decision to allow the restaurant to re-open before four who were stricken recovered.

The Wrexham Council began an investigation at the time of the outbreak with the intent of bringing legal proceedings, according to a spokesman.

Karen Morrisroe, 33, of Wrexham, a victim who was in a coma for five weeks, said after recovering that the United Kingdom needs tighter regulations to control E. coli infections.  She has called E. coli rates in the UK “disgusting.”

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