A Chinese restaurant in the Black Country is being forced to pay out almost £65,000 after nearly 50 of its diners went down with food poisoning.
Kwai Lun Chiu, a director of the Wing Wah restaurant in Oldbury, was also given a 12 month Community Order and told to carry out 100 hours community punishment.
His firm was fined £10,000 with £9,610 costs at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
And the court also heard the company has also paid out £45,000 in compensation to seven of its customers who have put in claims.
The sick diners included a 22-month-old baby and an 80-year-old man, who had to spend 12 days in hospital.
They all caught salmonella after the buffet restaurant chefs used raw eggs in a tiramisu dessert, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
Jonathan Challinor, prosecuting, said a total of six customers had to be hospitalised after suffering from vomiting, headaches, fever, stomach cramps and general weakness.
Wing Wah’s parent company Western Star (Midlands) Ltd, of Ethel Street, Birmingham, has since ceased trading after its bosses admitted selling food unfit for human consumption and three hygiene offences.
Chiu, of The Constables, Oldbury, admitted the four offences in what was described by Recorder Richard Benson QC as an isolated incident for a firm with an unblemished record.
The court was told by Alexander Cameron, defending, the restaurant took rapid action to clean the premises after the outbreak and reopened just three days later with a clean bill of health.
He said claims for compensation were being dealt with by insurers of the restaurant and so far seven claims had been settled in the sum of £45,000. Mr Cameron made a full apology on behalf of the restaurant to all the customers affected by the food poisoning.
“It is not a case where risk was taken for financial gain,” said Mr Cameron who told the court the restaurant, in the course of an average week, served 2,500 customers.
The restaurant had been run under the direction of Chiu for about three years and there had been no other problems regarding cleanliness.
The Recorder was told the only assets in the hands of the company after it had ceased trading was a tax repayment and he ruled that a balance of £19,610 should be paid in full for the fines and costs. “People were unnecessarily and avoidably ill,” he ruled as he concluded, “I regard this as an isolated lapse in a hitherto unblemished record.”