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Heston Blumenthal gets £200,000 compensation for business lost to norovirus scare

22 March 2010 by

Heston Blumenthal has received £200,000 compensation following a food-poisoning outbreak at his three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant.

Blumenthal closed the iconic restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, for two weeks in February and March last year after more than 500 diners were struck down by norovirus, or winter vomiting bug.

Insurers made the payout as compensation for lost business over the period while environmental health officials investigated.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) released a report on its investigation into the outbreak earlier this month stating the official cause was contaminated shellfish.

The report pointed to "several weaknesses in procedures" at the Fat Duck including delayed response to the incident and staff working when they should have been off sick.

But the Daily Mail said that news of the insurance payout has angered customers who are still fighting the restaurant for compensation.

Deborah Darke, 53, a deputy headteacher from Ilfracombe, Devon, who was one of the diners who became ill, told the paper: ‘I'm incensed the restaurant has received this payout when so many are still waiting for compensation.

‘I understand that if he was supplied with contaminated food it is not his fault, but the report said there were hygiene issues. I won't be returning.'

A Fat Duck spokesman said: "Everyone affected was invited back as our guests.

"Those seeking further compensation are dealing with the insurance company AXA direct and we have no involvement in those claims as it is a private matter between AXA and the individual concerned."

Molecular gastronomy and beyond >>

Don't blame it on the oysters >>

Heston Blumenthal will not face legal action over norovirus outbreak >>

By Neil Gerrard

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