Shenfield caf� owners fined after seven people suffer food poisoning

�The owners of a Shenfield caf� which gave seven customers potentially severe food poisoning have been fined.

After the customers contracted the scombrotoxin poisoning in July 2010, The Green Bean Caf�, in Hutton Road, was visited by Brentwood Council’s environmental health team.

They found ten times the permitted levels of potentially harmful chemical histamine in tuna samples.

The caf� was also found to have staff who lacked training, and problems with their food safety management and temperature control.

Symptoms of the type of scombrotoxin food poisoning caused by the caf� include hot flushes, nausea, sickness, headaches and diarrhoea.

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It is especially dangerous for the elderly and very young children, although the specific details of the seven involved in this case are not known.

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Cllr Roger Hirst, chairman of Brentwood Council’s environment, health and housing board, said: “Food poisoning can be fatal, and this is a clear demonstration of the council taking cases like this very seriously.

“We’re part of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in Brentwood and by providing transparency through the ratings given to businesses, consumers can make an informed choice about where they want to eat or buy food in the borough.

“Cases like this are thankfully rare, and I’m pleased to say that through the support we provide for local food outlets such as food hygiene training courses, the number of businesses in our borough that comply with food hygiene law remains high at more than 97 per cent.”

Green Bean Coffee (Holdings) Ltd pleaded guilty at Basildon Magistrates’ Court last week to seven charges under Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006.

It was fined �7,000 in total, �1,000 for each charge and ordered to pay �1,749 costs, as well as a victim surcharge of �15.

The caf� has closed since the incident so its holding company was fined.

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