Della Callagher died and more than 30 other diners became seriously ill after eating Christmas lunch at Ember Inns pub the Railway Hotel in Hornchurch, Essex on Christmas Day 2012.
The pub’s manager Anne-Marie McSweeney and chef Mehmet Kaya have both been given custodial sentences of one and a half years and one year respectively after they were found guilty of perverting the course of justice for falsifying food safety records after the outbreak.
M&B was found guilty of placing unsafe food, namely turkey meat, on the market by not ensuring food hygiene rules were followed.
Prosecutors said the food was not allowed to cool when it was first cooked and then not properly reheated, creating a “perfect breeding ground” for clostridium bacteria.
McSweeney and Kaya disposed of all the waste food, preventing health inspectors from taking samples, and forged kitchen records after the outbreak, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
According to reports, checks on other Ember Inns pubs in the area showed that food safety standards were not enforced by the pubco.
A spokeswoman for Mitchells & Butlers said: “Mitchells & Butlers notes the sentence issued by the Court today.
“We deeply regret this matter and have taken it extremely seriously. As soon as we learnt of the incident, M&B conducted a full and thorough independent investigation and referred our findings to the London Borough of Havering immediately. This prompted further investigation by the local authority and ultimately led to today’s outcome. We have continued to co-operate fully with the local authority throughout this process.
“This case also relates to the conduct of two former employees who today received custodial sentences for perverting the course of justice. The individuals concerned had committed acts which were not in accordance with Mitchells & Butlers’ food safety procedures and practices. The conduct for which they have been found guilty, and have now been sentenced, was entirely their own actions and in no way represents conduct acceptable to, or condoned by, M&B.
"Food safety is our highest priority and we have robust due diligence procedures in place that all our employees are required to follow. The prosecution accepted that these procedures, if they had been properly followed by those involved at the time, would have prevented this terrible event but we have nevertheless conducted a detailed assessment of our policies, procedures and training since the incident to identify any possible improvements. We will continue to review our procedures to ensure they remain robust.”