Australia: Tables restaurant find $19,000 for deadly asparagus; widow says, ‘we’ve had enough’

A fancy restaurant that served a man deadly asparagus sauce has been fined $19,000 – a fraction of the maximum penalty available under the Food Standards Act.

William Hodgins, 81, died of a ruptured stomach about 12 hours after taking his wife to the award-winning Tables Restaurant at Pymble, in January 2007.

Food Authority spokesman Alan Valvasori said legal advice was that it did not have enough evidence for a charge such as manslaughter.

A coronial inquest heard Mr Hodgins dined on snapper covered in a creamy asparagus sauce that had bacteria spores at 10 times the toxic level.

The maximum penalty under the Act is $275,000.

Mr Hodgins’ widow, Audrey, said the family had decided not to proceed with further legal action.

"We’ve had enough."