The Fat Duck’s Food Furore


The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, England.

Foodie fanatics have made a bee-line to its unpretentious premises ever since it made headlines in 2005 as the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine.To get a table at the 40-seat restaurant, you need to make reservations months in advance and you also need a fat wallet to take in the 17-course sampler menu which comes at around 130 pounds(USD 190).

The Fat Duck is a 3-star Michelin restaurant, about an hour’s train ride out of London,  run by chef Heston Blumenthal who specialises in molecular gastronomy (applying science to the art of cooking).


MANGO AND DOUGLAS FIR PUREE, Bavarois of lychee and mango, blackcurrent sorbet. Molecular cooking at its best.

In February, the award-winning restaurant made the wrong kind of headlines when it was forced to close on February 24 after a total of over 400 diners were struck by diarrhoea and vomiting. Customers cried foul and the health authorities called in to investigate what was thought to be food-poisoning. However, all tests for causes of food-poisoning yielded negative results.

The Health Protection Agency , according to the Telegraph 20 March 2009 has now narrowed down the culprit to norovirus infection, commonly called stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis. 6 members of the staff were found to have been infected and presumably passed on the infection to customers. Find out more about this infection here.

Which goes to show- such viruses are no respecter of status or style. But viruses being viruses,the infection is self-limiting and diners are flocking back since the restaurant re-opened March 13.


3 responses

  1. Just wondering..could this virus be the cause of the reported food poisoning after consuming airline food?
    In a plane, one could just pick up the virus by just shaking hands with the crew, if they happened to be infected,no?

    Doctor2008 says: The novovirus is spread by direct contact, so it is possible to get infected this way. Hence the importance of washing your hands before handling food.
    Give the cabin crew a break, you can get infected shaking hands with anybody who has the infection, including the person sitting next to you!

  2. Many thanks for your useful piece of information about food poisoning. We have been hunting for this piece of writing for ages in many websites.

  3. […] restaurants are nothing new. 3 years ago, I wrote about a similar Norovirus outbreak at the famed Fat Duck restaurant in the UK, where 240 people fell sick and survived the […]

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