A WIDOWER has told the story of how he suffers from a serious gastric infection a year after eating a kebab from a takeaway that gave more than 50 customers food poisoning.

John Inglesby, 76, was struck down with severe diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and sweats after munching the chicken sheesh with salad last year.

A stool sample confirmed he was one of the scores of customers who had contracted shigella bacteria from Marmaris Kebab House in Abergavenny, Wales.

The intestinal infection is extremely contagious and is spread when a person swallows a small amount of it from the stool of someone who is infected.

Someone may contract shigella if they eat food prepared by someone who has it and didn't wash their hands, for example.

The outbreak happened in February 2023 when customers ate contaminated food from the takeaway and saw 11 people hospitalised.

Owners Sami Abdullah and Hassan Saritag pleaded guilty to placing unsafe food on the market, failing to put in place food safety procedures, and failing to register new owners at the business last month.

John had visited the kebab shop on February 10, 2023 after he returned to work following the death of his wife.

He was prescribed a dose of antibiotics to help his recovery, but a year on he says he's still suffering from ongoing gastric complications.

John, who has now launched legal action, said: “When I went back to work, I was still struggling with grief and decided to visit my regular kebab shop.

“I’m not one to get stomach aches, so when I started to feel unwell, I knew something wasn’t right.  

“It worsened very quickly and before long I was in and out of the bathroom every 10 minutes.

“It got so bad that I had to see the doctor, and at that point I was told I had an infection.  

“I didn’t really piece it all together, however, until I heard that other people had been ill after going to the kebab shop.

“To this day, I’m still not right.  It’s truly awful how many people have been affected and something needs to be done to stop it happening again.”

Sarita Sharma, the specialist public health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing John, said the effects of the illness should not be downplayed.

She said: “The first-hand account we’ve heard from John regarding his symptoms is deeply concerning, and to hear that more than 50 people were unwell after eating at the kebab house is shocking.

“Shigella is a highly contagious infection leading to gastrointestinal illness, the effects of which should never be downplayed as it can, in some cases such as John’s, lead to long-term health issues.

“John’s story is likely to be typical of others reported to Public Health Wales and, following the guilty pleas, it’s vital that lessons are learned going forward to keep customers safe.”

Abdullah and Saritag are set to be sentenced in September at Newport Magistrates Court.

This followed a case brought by Monmouthshire County Council and Public Health Wales, which outlined a link between the shop's food and instances of Shigella.