TWO men have pleaded guilty to criminal offences, following a food poisoning outbreak from their kebab shop in Monmouthshire. 

A food poisoning epidemic plagued Abergavenny in February 2023, with more than 50 people falling ill and 11 hospitalised. 

The illness was identified as shigella infection (shigellosis), an intestinal infection caused by a family of bacteria known as shigella.

The main symptom of shigella infection is diarrhoea, however symptoms may also include vomiting, fevers and stomach cramps. Public Health Wales highlighted that although the illness is not “life-threatening”, some cases may result in hospitalisation. 

At the time, Public Health Wales conducted an investigation after a sudden “increase in reports of gastrointestinal illness”.

Public Health stood up a multiagency Outbreak Control Team with representation from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Monmouthshire County Council, and Powys County Council. 

Appropriate public health measures were undertaken including tracing contacts of those affected and offering testing for contacts with relevant symptoms.

The investigation linked the infection to local takeaway, Marmaris Kebab House. 

Abdullah, 46, the director of the takeaway, and his associate Saritag, 38. appeared at Newport Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, May 22.

Both pleaded guilty to charges of placing unsafe food on the market, failing to implement food safety procedures, and failing to register new owners for the business.

The case has been adjourned to September when a Kurdish translator will be provided after one of the defendants struggled to understand the court proceedings.