Butchers shop bosses in court in connection with salmonella outbreak which saw suspected cases in Hartlepool and East Durham
Bosses of a butchers shop linked to an investigation into the outbreak of salmonella have appeared before magistrates following a public health probe.
A health probe was launched into the cause of a serious outbreak of salmonella in East Durham and Hartlepool in February last year - which left two people in hospital and has been linked to the death of a 66-year-old man.
Now bosses of Chapman and Son's butchers have appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court today.
Chapman and Sons, in Back Middle Street, Blackhall Colliery, is charged with contravene/fail to comply with EU provision concerning food safety and hygiene.
The charge reads: "In February 15, last year, the company contravened or failed to comply with a provision of Regulation 178/2002 that was specified in column 1 of Schedule 2 to the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 and whose subject matter was described in column 2 of that Schedule, namely Article 14(1) in that unsafe food, namely
cooked pork contaminated with Salmonella."
Summons had also been made for the two directors but they had not been listed at the court today.
The defendants did not make any plea indication ahead of the next hearing which will be held before magistrates.
An inquest into the death of Stewart Graham, 66, who was found at his home in Shotton Colliery at around the time health chiefs issued a warning about a feared salmonella outbreak, was opened in May last year.
A post mortem examination, carried out by Home Office pathologist Dr Lakshmi Nair, found the cause of death to be sepsis, bacterial gastroenteritis from salmonella infection and ischemic heart disease.
The inquest is due for review on April 15.
Chapman and Sons closed in March last year following the outbreak although a consultant in health protection and chair of the outbreak control team, Dr Deb Wilson, said the decision was solely made by the butchers.
An investigation was carried out by the food hygiene team at Durham County Council.
The case was adjourned, in agreement with both the prosecution and defense, to enable the evidence which was submitted to the defense and the court to be compiled into around 100 pages compared to the current 600 pages which was presented.
Proceedings were adjourned to Wednesday, May 1 at Peterlee Magistrates' Court.