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Brentwood Borough Council

Press Release

Date: 15 November 2011

A Shenfield business who gave seven customers Scombrotoxin fish poisoning in July 2010 has been prosecuted by Brentwood Borough Council and fined £7,000 with £1,749 costs.

The Council’s Environmental Health team found Tuna samples at the Green Bean café showing histamine to be in excess of ten times the maximum permitted levels.  Other insufficiencies found at the business included lack of staff training, food safety management and temperature control.  The café has closed as a consequence of its failures. 

Councillor Roger Hirst, Chair of the Environment, Health & Housing Board, said “Food poisoning can be fatal, and this is a clear demonstration of the Council taking cases like this very seriously.  We’re part of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in Brentwood and by providing transparency through the ratings given to businesses, consumers can make an informed choice about where they want to eat or buy food in the borough.

“Cases like this are thankfully rare, and I’m pleased to say that through the support we provide for local food outlets such as food hygiene training courses, the number of businesses in our borough that comply with food hygiene law remains high at over 97%.”

Green Bean Coffee (Holdings) Limited, the controlling company of the Green Bean Café in Shenfield,  pleaded guilty at Basildon Magistrates Court on 09 November 2011 to seven charges, under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, in respect of failing to comply with European Community directives.

Scombrotoxic poisoning is caused when Scombroid type fish and fishery products are not refrigerated correctly, with warmer temperatures allowing bacteria to multiply and produce a chemical called histamine, at levels that can make people ill if it’s eaten.  Tuna once opened from the tin should always be refrigerated until used.  Symptoms of Scombrotoxin fish poisoning include hot flushes, nausea, sickness, headaches and diarrhoea.  

Brentwood Borough Council has produced further information for consumers and businesses on how to avoid Scombrotoxin fish poisoning, which can be found online at


Media Contact: Press Desk

Tel: 01277 312630