Dubai: A cook has been jailed for three months for risking the lives of five women who became sick with salmonella poisoning after serving them a bacteria-infected chocolate mousse at a dinner cruise.
The 42-year-old Indian cook, R.M., was said to have failed to store the chocolate mousse in an appropriately hygienic place before it got hit by the bacteria.
Then he endangered the lives of the five women, of different nationalities, who happened to be enjoying a group dinner on a floating restaurant at Dubai Marina when they consumed the contaminated sweet.
A few hours after the dinner party, the five women were said to have been rushed to different hospitals suffering from abdominal cramps, high fever and persistent diarrhoea.
The Dubai Misdemeanours Court also fined R.M., who was sentenced in absentia, Dh10,000 after he was convicted of failing to carry out his duties properly and being liable for the women’s sickness.
Records said the five women — a Syrian, an Egyptian, two Filipinas and an Indian — went with other colleagues to a dinner party on the floating restaurant at Dubai Marina. A few hours later, the five women, who suffered the same symptoms, were rushed to hospitals for treatment.
Medical reports from different hospitals that were provided to court confirmed that the victims had abdominal problems due to the infection.
Meanwhile, the court acquitted the restaurant’s Mozambican manager and an Indian manager of the hotel that operated the restaurant of any wrongdoing.
Defending themselves in court, the two managers denied being responsible for the victims’ sickness.
Dubai Municipality’s inspector testified to prosecutors that the chocolate mousse was unsuitable for human intake because it was infected with salmonella. The inspector mentioned in the report that the cook used unpasteurised eggs to make the chocolate mousse.
When questioned by prosecutors, R.M. confirmed that he cooked and served the sweet to the victims.
However R.M. did not show up in court to enter a plea.
One of the Filipina victims testified: “I went back home after the dinner party. Around 5am, I woke up to a severe stomach pain and diarrhoea. When I visited the hospital, a medical check up confirmed that I had food poisoning and I was admitted for two nights. We had an open buffet and part of that was the chocolate mousse.”
The four other women gave a similar statement.