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Pub's Christmas dinner killed mum-of-one and left 32 more ill

Pub owners Mitchells & Butlers, which runs The Railway Hotel in Hornchurch, face a hefty fine over the case

A dodgy Christmas dinner at The Railway, in Hornchurch, left a woman dead and 32 people ill.

Two bosses at a pub run by a major chain have been convicted of falsifying food safety records after a Christmas dinner left a woman dead and 32 people ill.

Mum-of-one Della Callagher, 46, was one of 33 diners who were struck down after eating a four-course turkey meal at The Railway Hotel, in Hornchurch, east London.

Della, of Hornchurch, fell ill on Boxing Day 2012 and died at Queen's Hospital, Romford, the following day.

Diners paid nearly £40 for the meal, which was cooked on Christmas Eve and then reheated before being served to the guests.

A year-long investigation by Havering Council found the illness was the result of food poisoning caused because the turkey was either not cooked or reheated properly.

Chef Mehmet Kaya, 37, and manager Anne-Marie McSweeney, 40, were supposed to record details of when they heated and cooled the meat but failed to do so.

They later falsified the records to cover their tracks and were found guilty on Tuesday of perverting the course of justice.

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Pub owners Mitchells & Butlers, who own around 1,700 restaurants and pubs across the UK, are facing a hefty fine over the case.

They admitted selling food unfit for human consumption, but argued it took reasonable precautions to prevent the offence.

However, a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court took 15 hours on Monday to convict them of failing to comply with requirements.

The company, whose total revenue last year was nearly £2 billion, also owns famous brands across the UK including Toby Carvery, Harvester and Browns.

Havering Councillor, Osman Dervish, said: "This was clearly a very serious food poisoning incident which tragically resulted in the death of one of the diners.

"We have put a lot of time into investigating this offence, which has shown that the company did not do everything they could to prevent this outbreak from happening."

McSweeney, of Hornchurch, and Kaya, of Purfleet, Essex, were found not guilty of placing unsafe food on the market.

A Mitchells & Butlers spokeswoman said: ‘Mitchells & Butlers respects the court's decision.

"Food safety is our highest priority and our employees are required to adhere to these stringent procedures at all times.

"Our thoughts remain with the Callagher family during this difficult time.

Sentencing is expected on January 8.