"A church harvest supper at a village pub ended in tragedy when one of the congregation was killed and 31 others suffered food poisoning after eating a shepherd’s pie filled with mince that had been incorrectly prepared by a rushing chef.
Elizabeth Neuman, 92, repeatedly vomited after eating the pie and died while other parishioners became “unpleasantly ill” and three of those attending only escaped because they were vegetarians, Reading crown court heard.
The cook, John Croucher, who at the time was head chef at the Crewe Arms in the Northamptonshire village of Hinton-in-the-Hedges, was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, after admitting a charge of contravening food regulations.
Defending himself in court, Croucher, 40, said: 'I hate to say it, I really hate to say it, but I think I was rushed. I was rushing.' He said he had worked in kitchens for 20 years and was now 'a better chef' because of the 'horrible, horrible circumstance.'
The judge, Sarah Campbell, said: 'On 8 October 2018, 35 villagers went to the Crewe Arms for a harvest meal. Thirty-two people ate the shepherd’s pie. A healthy and well person died of a gastrointestinal haemorrhage induced from vomiting. No sentence I pass can reflect the loss caused to the family.'"