Hotel licensee fined $20,000 over restaurant food poisoning cases

The licensee of a restaurant linked to five cases of food poisoning was fined $20,000 on Friday for selling food that was unfit for consumption.

BCH Hotel Investment, the licensee of Man Fu Yuan Restaurant, pleaded guilty last week through its general manager to five charges of providing food at four wedding banquets and a dinner and dance event at Hotel InterContinental which resulted in more than 400 guests falling ill.

The offences occurred between Dec 26 and Dec 30, 2012.

The court heard that the National Environment Agency received information that numerous individuals had developed symptoms of fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea after attending a wedding banquet dinner at the Middle Road hotel on Dec 26 that year.

Subsequently, there were several other reports of individuals developing similar symptoms after attending functions at the hotel.

Investigations showed that some 440 out of nearly 1,600 guests who attended the five events developed symptoms of gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach and intestines typically caused by viral infection or bacteria. Several were also found to have contracted the norovirus, a stomach bug.

The outbreak was also revealed by the investigations to be linked to contaminated food, and plates and glasses provided by Man Fu Yuan Restaurant

The company could have been fined up to $5,000 on each charge.

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