Faeces in ice-cream case closed

Posted by Editorial on 11th December 2008

Following a second inconclusive DNA test of a faecal sample, the NSW Food Authority has closed its investigation into the Coogee Bay Hotel ice cream contamination scandal, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald advised today.”While the analysis of a second sample supplied by the complainant showed a partial profile of female DNA, this is ultimately no help in determining who may have contaminated the food,” Minister Macdonald said. “Scientific advice is that 1 in 59 people have the partial profile. Further testing is unlikely to succeed in gaining a complete profile and linking it to a specific person.”

“After three laboratory analyses, inspection of CCTV footage and interviews with all people involved in the complaint, there is still no definitive proof where the faecal matter came from,” he added. “Scientific advice recommends that the DNA trace is so weak it would be unlikely to succeed in linking it to anyone. Accordingly, the Authority will not request voluntary DNA reference material from parties in this complaint for comparison testing.”

“I understand that parties in this complaint have resolved their dispute and that the Coogee Bay Hotel has undertaken to begin its own internal investigation,” Minister Macdonald said.

A mediation between the customers served the dish and the hotel resulted in both parties releasing a statement regretting the incident but no details of any compensation payment were reported.

Minister Macdonald said the Food Authority had exhausted every avenue of investigation it has available. “It has handed all the evidence gathered in this case to the NSW Police for its decision on whether to pursue the matter,” he concluded.