WILLIAM Hodgins died just hours after being served up a sauce with fatally high levels of the toxic pathogen bacillus cerus by an award-winning Sydney restaurant, an inquest heard yesterday. A coronial inquest into the death of the 81-year-old heard he had eaten fish of the day with an asparagus cream-based sauce at the Tables restaurant in Pymble on the night of Friday, January 12, 2007.
Tests on the sauce carried out after Mr Hodgins’ death by the Division of Analytical Laboratories found there was a presence of bacillus cereus at at 9.8 million per 10 million parts. Levels of 1.0 million parts per 10 million is toxic, the inquest heard.= The build up of bacteria could have been caused by the sauce being left out on the bench in a 30C kitchen for up to seven hours and possibly reheated and re-refrigerated a number of times over a 48-hour period, the inquest heard.
Tables restaurant owners Daniel Brukarz and Kim De Laive both denied during their evidence to the inquest that the sauce would have been out for any more than four hours. They said it would only have been served to customers that day and possibly for the following days’ lunch. A chef of about 30 years experience, Mr De Laive admitted he had no formal food safety training but said he believed his taste and smell test was enough to ascertain its safety. – news.com
Most people do not understand food safety, but they think they do. I’ve gotten food poisoning before from a cook who left mayonnaise too long at room temperature.