Another norovirus outbreak for Heston Blumenthal.
Earlier this week, there had been rumours surfacing, that there had been yet another norovirus outbreak at a Heston Blumenthal restaurant. After having the largest known outbreak of the vomiting bug in a restaurant, at the 3Michelin starred Fat Duck in 2009; where at least 240 diners where affected, including celebrities such as: boxing promoter Frank Warren & the sports commentator, Jim Rosenthal. It now appears it has happened again.
This time the outbreak is at the new promoted 2Michelin star ‘Dinner by Heston Blumenthal’ at the Mandrin Oriental, in London. ‘Dinner’ has continued to maintain its critical acclaim since opening in January 2011. Gaining its first Michelin star in under 9months, quickly followed by the second last year.
Westminster City Council’s Food Safety Manager, James Armitage, released the following statement after my initial approach:
Working closely with Public Health England and the restaurant operators, Westminster City Council Food Safety officers have carried out a thorough inspection of both the restaurant premises and working practices. Tests have so far failed to confirm what has caused the illness but we are waiting for more results. We do believe, however, that the outbreak has now been contained.
Today, there has been confirmation, that there has been a norovirus outbreak at ‘Dinner by Heston Blumenthal’. Westmister City Council issued the following statement from James Armitage this afternoon:
Working closely with Public Health England and the restaurant operators, Westminster City Council Food Safety officers have carried out a thorough inspection of both the restaurant premises and working practices. A number of test results and other characteristics of the illness now lead us to believe that this is an outbreak of norovirus. We have already asked the restaurant to improve some of its hygiene procedures – including telling staff to wash their hands more often. The changes were made immediately.
At the time of writing this post, tables were available for this weekend at ‘Dinner'; meanwhile, Mr Blumenthal was in Australia, where he seems determined to expand his empire. He currently has a deal with Coles supermarket, where:
The partnership will see Heston create an extensive range of products with a focus on Australian and Indigenous ingredients.
and it also looks like he’ll be open a restaurant at Crown Melbourne; replacing Breezes, a French – Australian restaurant. The multi-outlet hotel is no stranger to British celebrity chefs; it was once home to the ill fated Maze by Gordon Ramsey, until 2011.