French restaurant boss charged over woman’s botulism death | France #French #restaurant #boss #charged #womans #botulism #death #France

A French restaurant boss has been charged over the death of a woman after an outbreak of botulism at the establishment, linked to improperly preserved sardines.

A 32-year-old Greek woman died in September after eating at the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar in central Bordeaux. She was one of 16 mostly foreign diners who fell ill in the space of a week while the southwestern city was hosting Rugby World Cup matches.

“Various infringements of the hygiene regulations by the establishment’s manager” were identified, “especially relating to homemade preserves,” senior prosecutor Frederique Porterie said in a statement.

The restaurant chief was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged on Wednesday with involuntary homicide and wounding, endangering the lives of others, failing to assist a person in danger and selling contaminated or toxic food.

While released from custody, he will be subject to police monitoring and barred from any work relating to food service ahead of the trial. If convicted, the man could face two to five years in prison and a fine of up to €600,000.

Botulism is a rare, serious neurological condition that is fatal in between 5% and 10% of cases. It stems from a powerful toxin produced by a bacteria that can live in food that has been poorly preserved or improperly sterilised.

The disease can interfere with vision and prevent sufferers from swallowing, or in advanced cases paralyse muscles, especially respiratory muscles, which can be fatal.

Around 25 people were exposed to the contaminated sardines served at the wine bar, an investigation by French health authorities and police found. A further investigation is under way into the affected people’s medical treatment, prosecutors said.

#French #restaurant #boss #charged #womans #botulism #death #France

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