- One person died and 31 others were sick after eating a shepherd’s pie in a British pub in 2018.
- The chef admitted to a charge of contravening food regulations, and was convicted.
- He apologized and said he was rushed at the time.
A British chef was convicted after one person died and 31 others experienced food poisoning after eating a minced-meat pie he prepared, reports say.
The judge, Sarah Campbell, said people ate the pie at a pub on October 8, 2018, and then “a healthy and well person died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage induced from vomiting,” The Guardian reported.
John Croucher, the chef, had prepared a shepherd’s pie, a savory pie that typically includes minced beef, The Guardian and ITV News reported.
The woman who died was Elizabeth Neuman, 92, The Guardian reported. Thirty-one other people were “unpleasantly ill,” the judge said, according to The Guardian.
Croucher, 40, admitted to a charge of contravening food regulations at Reading crown court and said he was rushing, The Guardian reported. He was given a four-month prison sentence, which was suspended for 12 months.
“I hate to say it, I really hate to say it, but I think I was rushed. I was rushing,” he told a court, according to The Guardian.
He said he had been a chef for 20 years and that the “horrible, horrible circumstance” had made him a better one since.
He said: “Remorse is an understatement. This is something I will never forget. Because of it, I am a better chef and it is just a shame the cost of it had to be what it was.”
Campbell, the judge, also said, according to The Guardian: “Croucher was the chef that night. The mince was not cooked properly and was placed into a pan with iced water. Croucher needed to leave, so put the mince in cling film and put it in the fridge overnight.
“Having left it, he cooked it again and added warm mashed potato. He did not take the temperature when it was served.”
Neil Billingham, the pub’s landlord, was fined £9,000 ($US12,000 ($AU16,795)) and told to pay £1,000 ($US1,300 ($AU1,819)) in court costs, The Guardian reported. The pub’s company was also filed £3,000 ($US4,000 ($AU5,598)), The Guardian reported.
Neuman’s family said they did not want to take action against the pub, ITV reported.