Restaurant fined just over £100,000 following largest E.coli outbreak in Northern Ireland

A restaurant has recently been fined over £100,000 in relation to an outbreak of E.coli 0157 which occurred back in 2012, this was the second outbreak within in 3 months related to the restaurant. At least 141 people reported illness and 19 people were admitted to hospital.

E.coli are bacteria normally found in the gastro intestinal tract of humans and animals and can be associated with unwashed fruit and vegetables, raw meat, particularly beef and unpasteurised milk. The 0157 is very infectious and only a small number of bacteria are required to cause illness. This strain is potentially fatal to vulnerable people and control is vital to prevent infection. Cross contamination is the most common cause of spread and stringent controls must be in place to avoid the bacteria from spreading.

Following the sentencing, the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland (PHA) investigated the outbreak and published a report. There was strong evidence that the cause of the outbreak was from infected food handlers who tested positive for the illness. It is thought the likely vehicle for spread was chopped parsley used to garnish the dishes by the infected staff members.

If any of your colleagues report gastroenteritis, they must be excluded from work and not return until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.

In addition, you must ensure you comply with the Food Standards Agency E.coli guidance and have adequate separation of raw and ready to eat foods during all stages of food production. In addition you must keep documented procedures comprising of a comprehensive Food Safety Management System and provide adequate staff training.

Shieldyourself have a team of experienced Environmental Health Practitioners who are able to help you in the development of a Food Safety Management System.

For more information and to find out how we can support you with a bespoke Food Safety Management System please contact us on 020 3740 3744 or email

Sign up for our blog


Shield Safety Group

Blogs, Food Safety

Latest insights

7 hours | 2 mins
Essential Safety Tips for Managing Allergies

Allergies affect millions worldwide, impacting people of all ages and backgrounds. In the UK alone, […]

Read post
4 weeks | 1 min
How can dynamic data inform real-time change in your business? 

At Shield Safety, we’re transforming how businesses manage safety through the delivery of trusted safety […]

Read post
4 months | 3 mins
Top Tips for Supporting Hospitality Workers Mental Health this Christmas

As we find ourselves midway through the bustling festivities, restaurants, hotels, and various hospitality venues […]

Read post

Keep in touch