The Caterer

Heston Blumenthal refutes staff sickness reports

17 March 2009 by
Heston Blumenthal refutes staff sickness reports

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has dismissed reports that the sickness outbreak at his three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant was the result of staff being infected by a virus.

Blumenthal, chef-proprietor of the iconic restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, was forced to close the Fat Duck for two weeks after up to 40 diners were afflicted with a mystery illness resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea.

Following blanket media coverage of the outbreak, the number of potential cases leapt to 400.

He reopened the Fat Duck last week after environmental health inspectors gave the all clear. However, tests into the cause of the outbreak are still ongoing, with results so far inconclusive.

A spokeswoman for Blumenthal told Caterersearch that weekend reports suggesting that investigations were now focused on 16 members of staff affected by the norovirus, were "inaccurate".

"The investigation into the cause of the outbreak is still ongoing and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is waiting for a lots of test results to come back," the spokeswoman said.

"The media] reports on the weekend were completely speculative and inaccurate."

The spokeswoman added that it would likely take another week to two weeks for the test results to come back and the cause of the outbreak to be known.

Staff at Fat Duck may have had winter vomiting bug >>

Heston Blumenthal gets go ahead to reopen the Fat Duck >>

The Fat Duck: Business as usual after recent food scare? >>

Number of sick Fat Duck customers rises to 400 >>

Heston Blumenthal unlikely to reopen Fat Duck this week >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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