The fatal accident occurred on October 8, 2018. Up to 32 guests – all members of the local church community – fell ill after dinner at the Crewe Arms pub in Hinton in the Hedges, Northamptonshire, England. One of them, 92-year-old Elizabeth Newman, even died of food poisoning. The Mirror reported that shepherd’s pie, a traditional British casserole with ground beef and mashed potatoes, turned out to be not cooked properly.
The bar’s former chef, 40-year-old John Croucher, was due to appear in court this week. He was eventually given a four-month suspended prison sentence. Crocher admitted that he had prepared the meat the night before, but that he “was in a hurry” and that the ground beef was not fully cooked when he wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.
The next day he reheated the ground beef with the mash, but didn’t check the temperature anymore. “I’m sorry to admit, but I think I was in too much of a hurry. I wanted to go too fast. Saying I was so sorry is an understatement. I’ll never forget it. It made me a better chef, but it’s such a shame that it happened at this price.”
Although Crocher claimed it was a one-time error, the judge refused to believe it. Although the pub now has a five star rating for cleanliness, it was only one star at the time of the events. Previous inspections also showed the lack of a food safety system.
Consequently, Crocher, who no longer works at the pub, is found guilty but does not have to go to prison, as he is a suspended sentence.
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