Manslaughter charge for botulism death

Manslaughter charge for botulism death

BORDEAUX: 16 people affected by botulism last September Photo credit: CC/Bert Kaufmann

THE manager of the Bordeaux restaurant whose home-preserved sardines caused a client’s death has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

As well as a 32-year-old Greek woman who died from botulism last September, 15 people, most of them from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Ireland, Canada and the US, were also affected after eating at the Tchin Tchin wine bar.

Most were in their 30s or 40s and were visiting during the week when Bordeaux was hosting World Cup rugby matches.

A statement from Bordeaux’s public prosecutor, Frederique Porterie, said that investigators had identified “various infringements of the hygiene regulations” at the restaurant “especially relating to homemade preserves.”

The manager, who was not named, was arrested and taken into custody on December 5 Tuesday.

He was released next day after being charged with “involuntary manslaughter, injuring and endangering the lives of others, failing to assist a person in danger, and selling contaminated or toxic food.”

Meanwhile, he will be monitored by the police and barred from any work linked to preparing or serving food before he comes to trial. If found guilty he could face a prison term of between two and five years in prison and a fine of up to €600,000.

Botulism is a rare but serious illness which is caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nervous system and causes difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and even death.

This toxin is produced by bacteria which can live in food that has been poorly preserved or improperly sterilised.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at