Honeymooners and 49 guests struck by food poisoning after UK wedding

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Honeymooners and 49 guests struck by food poisoning after UK weddingM Langford/SWNS


Almost half of an entire wedding party were left with chronic food poisoning after a four-star UK hotel served undercooked pate at the reception.

Nicola Hamill, 29, and husband Alex, 32, fell ill on their Las Vegas honeymoon following their wedding at Letchworth Hall Hotel in Hertfordshire.

Upon their return, they were informed that 49 people who had attended their wedding had also fallen ill after eating the chicken liver pate.

The newlyweds spent $150 on bottles of water, could only eat dry toast, and spent most of their five-day honeymoon ill in bed.

Honeymooners and 49 guests struck by food poisoning after UK weddingSWNS


According to the Daily Mail, Nicola said she was suspicious of the pate, and checked twice with staff whether it was safe to eat. She said: "We feel it spoilt the memory of the day. We had saved for years for our special day. It was ruined. What is worse is that I knew something was wrong with the pate - it looked completely different from our tasting session.

"We asked the staff twice to check it was fit for consumption and they assured us it was. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

"I feel so embarrassed. When we got back from the honeymoon we realised everyone was ill. No one had wanted to tell us while we were away in case it ruined our honeymoon."

Honeymooners and 49 guests struck by food poisoning after UK weddingSWNS


The couple, from Luton, Bedfordshire, got married on 3 September 2011, paying £5,550 for a wedding breakfast for 118 guests.

They complained about the pate the next day, and received £400 towards their bar tab. They then jetted off for their luxury Las Vegas honeymoon, only to become ill with stomach cramps and diarrhoea after one day.

When they returned, they found out that Nicola's sister had called in the advice of environmental health officers.

The case went to court, and the hotel pleaded guilty to two charges of poor food hygiene at Hertford Magistrates' Court.

Doctors confirmed that 22 of the 49 people who reported feeling ill had an infection called Campylobacter, including the bride and groom.

Honeymooners and 49 guests struck by food poisoning after UK weddingSWNS


The hotel paid a total of £8,300 in fines, and health officers established that the chef had cooked the pate to 60C in breach of Food Standards Agency guidance, which recommends a temperature of 75C to avoid food poisoning.

A spokesman for Letchworth Hall Hotel said: "Letchworth Hall Hotel wishes to express its deep regret and offer its sincere apologies to Mr and Mrs Hamill and their wedding guests.

"This incident was unprecedented in our past of catering to countless similar large events, a fact also reflected in our recent receipt of a five star food hygiene rating."

Nicola, who paid £4,800 to a replacement honeymoon to New York and Mexico in December 2011, said:

"I am pleased they have admitted they were wrong and that they have learnt from it. We just do not want this to happen to any other couples.

"It is a shame that our wedding had to be ruined for them to improve their standards."

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