Former Preston North End (that’s in the UK) chairman Maurice Lindsay today told how he was forced to give up his position with the club and the Football Association after eating ox tongue found to contain potentially deadly bacteria.
Maurice Lindsay’s housekeeper bought the tongue from Booths in Haven Road, Lytham. The poisoning was traced back to the tongue bought at Booths’ deli counter and supplied to the chain by Wirral Foods, from East Lancashire.
Mr Lindsay, 70, who lives in Lytham, said: “I have been so ill I had to give up my role at North End and with the FA. In hospital I was injected every four hours for 20 days. My body was starting the reject the needles in the end.
“I am taking a civil action against Booths on top of this criminal case. I have never been so ill in my life. The doctors told me it was touch and go at first. Until the listeria was identified I was at death’s door for three days.
“I will never touch tongue again in my life. It was my house keeper who bought it to put in my sandwich for tea. If I had done the shopping I would never have bought tongue.
“Two years down the line I am still not well.”
Booths admitted 10 hygiene, labelling and sell-by date offences at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The court heard the Lytham store was investigated by Fylde Council after Mr Lindsay became ill in 2011.
The probe also found discrepancies in the sell by dates and labelling on other Polish and Italian meats as well as seafood.
Michael Lavery, prosecuting, said: “The firm said the normal policy was to keep wet fish and shell fish for three days, but if it looked alright give it another day.
“There is a failure to supervise systems and procedures and a failure to heed previous warnings.”