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Restaurateurs Lose Four of Five Unfit Food Appeals

Ontario restaurant owners Mahmoud Asaad and Senan Daoud have lost an appeal in four of the five cases in which they were convicted in 2009 in connection with a 2007 outbreak of non-O157: H7 E coli.

In a Dec. 10 ruling, appellate Judge Ann Watson upheld the pair’s convictions for serving unfit food to the public for four of the named consumers.  “I agree with His Worship that the evidence upon which he based his convictions was overwhelming, ” Watson found.

In the instance of the fifth named injured consumer, however, the appeals judge set aside the convictions because there was contradictory evidence about the onset date of illness for a girl who ate at the restaurant with her father.

Asaad and Daoud ran the Yeman Restaurant on Merritt St. in St. Catharine’s when it became the only link in an outbreak of a rare strain of E. coli.  The restaurant owners were each fined $7,500 each after their 2009 convictions.

In their appeal, the restaurateurs argued that the incubation period for E coli left a reasonable doubt as to whether their facility could have been the source of the dangerous bacteria.

The only thing that linked the E. coli victims was the Yeman Restaurant, the courts found.  It was closed temporality by the public health department.  An inspection found the E. coli on chicken shawarma and a knife used to cut the chicken.

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