Heston Blumenthal gets go ahead to reopen the Fat Duck

11 March 2009 by
Heston Blumenthal gets go ahead to reopen the Fat Duck

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has been given the green light to reopen his three-Michelin-starred restaurant the Fat Duck tomorrow (12 March).

Blumenthal, chef-proprietor of the iconic restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, closed the Fat Duck two weeks ago after up to 40 diners were afflicted with a mystery illness resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea. Following media coverage of the outbreak, the number of potential cases leapt to 400.

Environmental health inspectors were called in to scour the kitchens at the Fat Duck for signs of malpractice but test results came back clear, with no food poisoning organisms being found.

Scientists then conducted a "risk assessment of all food storage, preparation and cooking processes" at the Fat Duck and examined food samples and specimens from diners and all members of staff.

Laboratory tests were also being carried out into possible contamination of food by bacterial or viral germs, which might have occurred at any time from "before supply to the restaurant to reaching the plate".

While test results have not yet proved conclusive, Blumenthal has now been given permission to reopen the Fat Duck, according to news service Bloomberg.

"The Health Protection Agency and the local environmental health office have given us the all-clear to open the restaurant tomorrow," Blumenthal said.

"While they are still awaiting outstanding test results, we can't comment further, but we're overjoyed to get back to business as normal."

Number of sick Fat Duck customers rises to 400 >>

Heston Blumenthal unlikely to reopen Fat Duck this week >>

Mystery illness closes Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred Fat Duck >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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