Following a 2012 Christmas Day turkey dinner at a London-area pub that sickened approximately 33 people and may have killed one of them, the manager and chef were recently sentenced to jail terms. Chef Mehmet Kaya and Manager Ann-Marie McSweeney of the Railway Hotel in Hornchurch, Essex (east of London) were convicted of lying to police and falsifying records. Kaya received a 12-month sentence and McSweeney received 18 months. The pub’s owner, Mitchells & Butlers of Birmingham, was fined £1.5 million (about $2.3 million) after being found guilty of placing unsafe food on the market. A year-long investigation into the incident found that the illnesses reported after the four-course pub meal were due to Clostridium perfringens, either because the turkey meat was not adequately cooked or not properly reheated.
“Clostridium perfringens bacteria are the third most common cause of food poisoning in the U.K., and this mostly occurs in relation to red meat or poultry,” Dr. Deborah Turbitt from the Health Protection Agency said at the time. Officials also indicated that it was an isolated incident.