A councillor says a £200,000 fine given to a catering company will send a firm message to companies about the need to enforce robust food safety procedures.
Galloping Gourmet (Coulsdon) Ltd admitted two food hygiene offences after the wedding of Burntwood couple Paul and Vikki Kemp in October 2017.
The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 costs at Cannock Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard how it had provided a hog roast which was contaminated with salmonella, leaving 58 people ill, including the groom and forcing the happy couple to cancel their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.
Councillor Angela Lax, Cabinet member for legal and regulatory at Lichfield District Council, said: “It does not matter how successful a company is, or its size, this case shows that good food safety procedures must always be at the heart of every food businesses.
“The Galloping Gourmet (Coulsdon) Ltd did not take their customers’ health and safety seriously enough and they now face a large fine and costs.
“We really sympathise with Mr and Mrs Kemp who had their wedding day ruined and missed out on their honeymoon due to dangerously undercooked food.
“The level of the penalty shows how serious a case this is, and it sends a warning to others in the catering industry to make sure they always follow food safety guidelines.
“This has been a huge case to investigate, involving more than 80 people, which among others included Public Health England, a Consultant in communicable disease, the Food Standards Agency, the Meat Hygiene Service, Defra and other local authorities.
“We are all pleased with this successful prosecution and the level of the penalty, and hope it will drive up food safety standards across the industry.”
A spokesperson for Galloping Gourmet said: “We can’t express how sorry we are for the distress and discomfort this incident caused.
“Food safety is a responsibility we take extremely seriously. Our priority is to serve safe, tasty and well-presented food and drink to our customers, but on this isolated occasion, our food safety procedures were not followed correctly.
“We have investigated the incident thoroughly and made a significant investment in technology to improve our procedures and minimise the possibility for individual human error.
“Since we started out in 1990, we have served well over a million people and we’ve never had a problem like this before. However, we have accepted full responsibility today and we are confident that the changes we’ve made will help ensure that this never happens again.”