The former owner of the Llay Fish Bar is going to jail for eight months and is banned from ever being in the food business again.

Wales has delivered justice for the 2009 Llay Fish Bar outbreak.

Anyone looking for an air-tight scientific report to go with the jail sentence will likely be disappointed.

Ramazan Aslam, who owned and operated the Llay Fish Bar at the time of the August 2009, was sentenced for violating nine counts of the hygienic code without any malicious intent.

It is not usual to find sanitary conditions like those inspectors found inside the Llay Fish Bar after the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infected nine customers.

But the medical struggle of a young mother who was one of those victims, Wrexham librarian Karen Morrisroe, was the subject of widespread interest in Wales and made this case anything but normal. Morrisroe was in a coma for five months after she became infected with E. coli.

Aslam’s food-handling practices were immediately subject to a Wrexham Council investigation that found he did not inform the local government when he took over the fish bar; failed to put a plan in place to identify hazards or take corrective actions; did not have a pest control plan, and did not have proper hand washing and drying facilities.  

Doors and windows of the Llay Fish Bar were often left open without any screening.

Aslam took responsibility, but said he did not have adequate training.

The judge who sentenced Aslam said the fish and chip bar owner knew the risks he was taking but “chose to ignore them.”

The judge’s order prevents Aslam from even participating in the management of any food business without a further court order.

In the end, the Llay Fish Bar investigation did not produce a lab-confirmed link from pathogen to food source to menu item.  But for the next eight months, that is not going to make any difference to Aslam.