More than a hundred people fell ill in an E.coli outbreak which started when a Hyson Green kebab shop served food contaminated with a staff member’s faeces.
Khyber Pass on Gregory Boulevard triggered a city ‘outbreak plan’ when several customers went down with serious stomach bugs last June.
The victims included a 13-year-old girl whose condition became so serious she spent two days on a drip in intensive care at the Queen’s Medical Centre.
The eatery’s owners, Mohammad Abdul Basit and Amjad Bhatti, were handed suspended jail sentences and more than £50,000 in fines after admitting breaches of hygiene rules at Nottingham Crown Court.
In a statement read out in court, the mother of the teenage girl who was affected said: “We feared our child would die.”
Nottingham City Council food hygiene experts began an investigation when several people were admitted to the QMC suffering with diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.
It was identified as food poisoning and traced to the takeaway, which was visited by hygiene experts and closed down temporarily.
Picture: Khyber Pass owners Amjad Bhatti, left, and Mohammad Abdul Basit, right, outside court
Laboratory tests of food samples found the same strain of the bacteria in lettuce prepared by staff at the restaurant.
In total 142 cases were eventually traced, with some patients suffering with the symptoms for weeks.
Paul Dales, from the city councils food and health and safety department, said: “It’s fortunate there were no fatalities, as this is a strain of E.coli rarely found in the developed world, this being only the second confirmed outbreak in Europe.
“It’s clear that hand-washing practices by some workers were wholly inadequate and this led to food becoming contaminated.”
E.coli is a bacteria which enters the gut and is entroenvasive, meaning the only route of spreading infection is through human defecation.
Owners Basit and Bhatti pleaded guilty to a number of breaches of food hygiene regulations at an earlier court hearing.
They included selling food unfit for human consumption, inadequate personal cleanliness of food workers, inadequate hand washing facilities and drainage.
Both men were sentenced to four months in prison on seven counts, to run concurrently and suspended for 12 months. Both must also carry out 250 hours unpaid work.
Between them they must also pay £200 compensation to each victim, totalling £28,400, plus costs of £25,752.
Nottingham City Council confirmed the takeaway has since re-opened under the same owners because they’ve made changes to satisfy health inspectors.