A somber note for this blog.The Hornchurch Food Poisoning catastrophe came to a conclusion this week.

To recap….Christmas 2012 the Railway Hotel in Hornchurch served Christmas Day Lunch and as a consequence 33 diners became seriously ill with food poisoning and one diner, Delia Callagher (a healthy mother of three children) died as a result.

What caused the food poisoning? Clostridium Perfringens

Why did it happen? The turkey had been cooked the previous day, chilled and reheated on Christmas Day. The cooking, cooling and reheating time and temperature procedures were not followed – therefore this food poisoning outbreak and the death of a customer was wholly avoidable.

The Landlady and the Chef went into a panic and disposed all left over food and also retrospectively (and fraudulently) went back and filled in their HACCP records.

The outcome?
The chef and landlady were convicted of perverting the course of justice.
The Manager/Landlady received an 18 month jail sentence
The chef a 12 month jail sentence
Mitchells & Butlers received a £1.5m fine.

By reading this article it is clear how important it is to carefully follow procedures and diligently complete daily paperwork checks. If the paperwork had been completed at the time (we are just talking Core Food Temperature, Chilling time & Temperature and Reheating Temperature) then the inconsistencies of food temperatures would have alerted chefs and management that there could be a problem and the food would never have gone out to the customers!

Remember to complete daily records. Essential check sheets include –

* Fridge and Freezer Temperatures – twice daily
* Core Cooked Food Temperature and any reheating temperatures
* Cooling Times and Temperatures
* Delivery Schedule
* Kitchen Cleaning