A COMPANY that provided listeria-contaminated chicken to the airline Virgin Blue, resulting in an illness outbreak, has received the largest fine of its type in New South Wales.
A national public health alert was triggered after 29 passengers fell sick with listeriosis between December 2008 and June 2009 after consuming the contaminated chicken wraps on Virgin Blue flights. The bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, is particularly dangerous for those with a weakened immune system or pregnant women. Two pregnant women, who became infected with the bacteria after eating the wraps, gave birth prematurely.
Directors of GMI Food Wholesalers pleaded guilty to 26 charges relating to the production, handling and sale of unsafe food.
They were fined $236,000 plus legal costs, in the Downing Centre Local Court. Details of the case will be published on the NSW Food Authority's website today.
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