Two owners of a Yorkshire restaurant tried to obstruct an investigation by health officers into a rare food poisoning outbreak that affected almost 90 people, a court heard.
Abdul Ghafoor and Mohammed Ayub, who had run the Saffron restaurant in Ilkley, admitted breaching food hygiene regulations, and obstructing the subsequent enquiry, when they appeared before Bradford magistrates.
The court heard that traces of the rare Giardia Lamblia parasite were found at the restaurant, which has now closed. The pair were committed to Crown Court for sentencing at a later date.
After the case, Bradford Council's environmental health manager, Angela Brindle, said in a statement:
"It has been a very difficult case to investigate as the Giardia parasite is not normally associated with food-borne outbreaks of this nature and, in fact, we believe it is the first Giardia outbreak associated with a food business in this country.
"Looking into this case was made even more difficult by one of the proprietors not disclosing themselves as a bona fide owner of the restaurant until nine months into the investigation."
Brindle said staff at the restaurant had not received basic hygiene training either and did not know how to wash their hands properly and even carried on working when they had diarrhoea.
"The key message we want to send out to other food businesses following this case is that staff must be trained and supervised to ensure they are carrying out hygiene practices correctly and food handlers must not work while suffering from sickness and diarrhoea."
By Andrew Smith
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