The kebab shop gave more than 50 customers food poisoning and sent 11 customers to hospital

The owners of a kebab shop in Wales gave more than 50 of their customers food poisoning, with 11 of them hospitalized after being served contaminated food.

The outbreak occurred in February 2023 when customers ate food contaminated with shigella bacteria at Abergavenny’s Marmaris Kebab House in Wales.

The Shigella bacteria is extremely contagious and is spread when someone swallows a small amount of it through the feces of someone who is infected.

For example, a person can contract shigella if they eat food prepared by someone who has it and has not washed their hands.

The main symptom of an infection is diarrhea, which often contains blood, but many also experience fever and stomach pain. Although shigella is not life-threatening, people are often hospitalized with it and symptoms last for five to seven days.

The outbreak occurred in February 2023 when customers ate food contaminated with shigella bacteria at the Marmaris Kebab House in Abergavenny, Wales.
The takeaway’s director, Sami Abdullah, 46, imagined himself smoking a cigarette outside the court
Hassan Saritag, 38, pictured outside Newport Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday

Sami Abdullah, the takeaway’s director, and his colleague Hassan Saritag appeared at Newport Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and both pleaded guilty to marketing unsafe food, failing to implement food safety procedures and failing to register new owners with the company. .

What is a shigella infection?

Shigella infection (shigellosis) is an intestinal infection caused by a family of bacteria known as shigella. The main sign of a shigella infection is diarrhea, which is often bloody.

Shigella is highly contagious. It spreads when people swallow small amounts of bacteria from the feces of an infected person. For example, this can happen in a childcare environment when employees do not wash their hands well enough after changing diapers or helping toddlers with toilet training.

Shigella bacteria can also be transmitted through infected food and by drinking or swimming in unsafe water.

Children under the age of five are most likely to get shigella, but it can occur at any age. A mild case usually goes away on its own within a week, but more severe cases often require people to be hospitalized. Doctors generally prescribe antibiotics and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.

A spokesperson for Monmouthshire Council said an extensive investigation by council officers could ‘positively link’ the infections to Marmaris, following expert advice from Public Health Wales.

At the time of the outbreak, Public Health Wales said it was aware of an increase in cases of gastrointestinal illness in Abergavenny, believed to be caused by the shigella infection.

Shortly after the outbreak, one person told WalesOnline that their family and friends had suffered a ‘horrible illness’ after contracting shigella following a visit to the takeaway on Friday, February 10 last year.

They said: ‘My relatives became incredibly ill the following Sunday and Monday, with symptoms lasting mid-week one week and late the next.

‘Symptoms included vomiting, fever, terrible stomach cramps and blood in their diarrhea.’

The council spokesperson said: ‘Further offenses for failing to register new owners with the business and failing to maintain an appropriate food safety management system also resulted in guilty pleas. The company now has a new owner.’

Saritag, 38, of Cross Street in Abergavenny, and Abdullah, 46, of Richmond Road in Cwmbran, were sent away by District Judge Sophie Toms for speaking in the dock during their court hearing, but it emerged Saritag was translating his fellow suspect could understand what was said in court.

The case was adjourned until September and a note was made that a Kurdish interpreter would be booked.

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