What was for a short time, the biggest food poisoning event in Australia happened in Canberra on the 2013 Mother’s Day.
A raw egg mayonnaise was made that ended up causing 100 people to have food poisoning. 15 people were hospitalised. The mayonnaise was used in the potato salad on offer that day and many people became sick from Salmonella as a result.
The restaurant immediately apologised, then removed all raw egg products from the menu, and has since shut it’s doors. However, the former owners have already had to pay out around $1 million to the victims.
An ACT court now requires that two juvenile victims be paid $5,446 and $5,379 respectively on top of the payment already made. The juveniles will have to wait until they are 18 to receive the payment.
The civil action for thes, and the total payment is believed to be the largest in the ACT, so although this is no longer the biggest food poisoning in Australian history, it is certainly historic for the compensation to be paid.
There is also criminal court action in progress on top of this civil action, as it is against ACT law to knowingly or negligently sell unsafe food. The investigation done by ACT Health determined that the contaminated eggs came from a supplier in Victoria.
This event and the subsequent payouts and potential criminal charges, highlight how important it is that all food businesses manage their food safety and supplier control programs.
Written by Rachelle Williams, The Green Food Safety Coach.