Over a year after 160 people were sickened from Salmonella linked to raw egg mayonnaise, owners of the former Copa Brazilian restaurant have been charged with criminal offences over the largest salmonella outbreak in Canberra’s history.
Many diners who ate at the newly-opened all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbecue were left with salmonella poisoning, and the Canberra Hospital’s emergency department reportedly had one of its busiest days on record.
Some victims are understood to still be suffering long-term health problems.
A major ACT Health investigation found an egg supplier in Victoria to be responsible for the bad eggs.
The restaurant, which had only recently opened before the incident, issued an apology to those affected and removed all products containing raw egg from its menu to ensure the poisoning was not repeated.
It closed voluntarily, before reopening under the close watch of ACT Health authorities.
But the restaurant eventually closed its doors and left Dickson in June this year.
A criminal case has now been launched against Copa’s owners, listed on court papers as Zeffirelli Pizza Restaurant Pty Ltd.
Two charges have been laid for selling unsafe food likely to cause physical harm.
Under ACT food safety law, those who either knowingly or negligently sell unsafe food can face criminal prosecution.
The criminal charges come after the majority of the food poisoning victims settled civil claims against the restaurant.
Copa has paid out an estimated $1 million, including costs, to many of those struck down by salmonella.
Australia has a raw egg problem. A table of raw egg related outbreaks in Australia is available at https://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-3-3-14.xlsx