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Food Poisoning Closes Fat Duck

Glenys's picture

Yesterday it was forty sick, today they're saying four hundred and have ruled out sabotage but the doors are locked. Personally, my bets are on the Bacon and Egg Ice Cream, but then I'm prejudiced. It's a mystery but sad news. Love that guy.

Gretchen's picture

(post #51993, reply #1 of 23)

BIG WOW. That is really bad, and too bad.  :O(

Gretchen

Gretchen
BonnieinHolland's picture

(post #51993, reply #2 of 23)

From what I understand, about 400 people have called Thames Valley Health Protection about becoming sick, but it hasn't been established that all those folks had actually eaten at the Fat Duck and gotten sick as a result.  I hold Heston Blumenthal in hugely high esteem too - it's hard to imagine this happening to him!  chers, Bonnie

ashleyd's picture

(post #51993, reply #3 of 23)

Got to be careful here, a number of people have been reported as being ill after visiting the Fat Duck but it does NOT appear to be food poisoning. Heston and his team as well as Environmental Health (food inspectors) have been over it in minute detail and nothing has been found, his hygiene standards and food provenance are the highest. So far it's a mystery, that's why it has closed, if it had been food poisoning they would have fixed the problem and re-opened.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Glenys's picture

(post #51993, reply #4 of 23)

So true, it's a loose broad brushstroke, but then I rarely believe in restaurant food poisoning, given the statistics. Once the numbers rose, especially to include townspeople, it sounds more like a contamination epidemic. Nice to have have time to close and clean but the publicity isn't kind.

PeterDurand's picture

(post #51993, reply #5 of 23)

I wonder if there is a certain amount of crowd hysteria here when the numbers appear to be so high. Or simply bad reporting. It will interesting to see the outcome. We were talking to a chef who has worked for him and he said that he is the nicest person to work for.

Cheers,

Peter

 


Better life through Zoodles and poutine...
shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #51993, reply #6 of 23)

I sincerely hope this is not the end of the Fat Duck - going there is high on my personal bucket list.





"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies". -Moshe Dayan, military leader and politician (1915-1981)

Glenys's picture

(post #51993, reply #7 of 23)

It's not the demise, nor was the piece on the BBC vilifying him, it was an interview where he wasn't in denial but baffled. The report started with the first forty but referenced the extended number of people reporting. The Fat Duck did all the usual correct post-incident measures, but the circle widened. They did sneak in a couple of well-known countrymen who are locals and regular patrons who attested to the bad side effects that evening. I think it's a solid decision until the mystery is solved.

MadMom's picture

(post #51993, reply #8 of 23)

I have no idea how large the place is, but would 400 patrons even fit in there, even with several seatings?  I wonder how many people actually ate there and how many are just jumping on the bandwagon?  I've never heard of everyone getting sick at once.



Not One More Day!
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PeterDurand's picture

(post #51993, reply #9 of 23)

Methinks you may be on the right tract here.

 


Better life through Zoodles and poutine...

SallyBR1's picture

(post #51993, reply #10 of 23)

It is EXTREMELY difficult to pinpoint the source of food poisoning - unless the connection is clear cut - for instance, stuff that happens in a cruising boat, everyone is more or less isolated in the same space for a period of time.

Listeria infections, for instance, can develop symptoms between days and weeks after ingesting contaminated foodstuff - you can imagine how tricky that would be to track the source.... Of course, other bacteria make you sick faster, but there is a window of variability that always complicates the issue

I find that 400 people getting sick makes me suspect that it's not a restaurant issue, unless we were talking about the cafeteria of a large hospital or institution that feeds huge number of people on a daily basis. A restaurant of the level of Fat Duck? I doubt it.

so, let's wait and see

 


 


The garbage disposal is your friend. Treat it nicely.


(A little pearl of wisdom, February 2009)

ouzo's picture

(post #51993, reply #12 of 23)

During his most recent bus. trip DH became violently ill due to food poisoning.  One night he dined, family style, with a group of 25 or so.  Two other people got sick and that night was the only night he shared a meal with them.  It's curious to me that not everyone became sick, because surely more than three people ate whatever the offending dish was.  Well, maybe it shouldn't be so curious, DH has a weak stomach and has been hospitalized twice for food poisoning.  Anyway, he's still suffering enough after ten days that he actually went to see a doctor.


 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse


Edited 3/8/2009 4:37 pm by ouzo

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

SallyBR1's picture

(post #51993, reply #13 of 23)

Did they diagnose the cause?

indeed people have different levels of tolerance to infection, a stronger immune system might take care of it for some, whereas other folks get really ill

depending on the kind of contamination, it may be restricted to a portion of the dish - unless the sickness comes from a soluble toxin, which would more or less spread throughout the food, you could envision a situation in which for instance, a few leaves of lettuce were contaminated, others were not

 


 


The garbage disposal is your friend. Treat it nicely.


(A little pearl of wisdom, February 2009)

ouzo's picture

(post #51993, reply #19 of 23)

I thought you might appreciate a few more details - except for the fact that he and a few others got so ill, it's almost funny.  He was in Singapore and the clients took them to a seafood restaurant.  He's been to many of these client dinners and knows the importance of eating and being a polite guest - you know, not freaking out and being an ugly american and demanding a steak.  Anyway, he surveyed the dishes in the center of the table and saw all sorts of unusual 'parts' and sea creatures he did not recognize.  He decided that the crab would be safe, so he ate the black crab and the chile crab.


After a week of eating yogurt with 'live' cultures, he has perked up and feels better.


 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

Florida2's picture

(post #51993, reply #14 of 23)

Is your DH on proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec or NExium? I read that it alters the acidity of the stomach and makes it harder to deal with bad food.

ouzo's picture

(post #51993, reply #15 of 23)

He takes no meds.  He exercises regularly and is in very good shape.  The doctor suspects that helpful digestive bacteria was killed off when he was sick.  DH has been warned it may take awhile to get back in balance.  In the meantime, just about everything he eats causes an upset stomach and ....ahem....trapped gas.  He's going to lose a bit of weight before he gets back on track. 

 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

Florida2's picture

(post #51993, reply #16 of 23)

I'm so sorry to hear that-- it sounds very uncomfortable. Ihope he gets some relief soon.

Adele's picture

(post #51993, reply #17 of 23)

My boss hosted a dinner for visiting clergy from England two Friday nights ago.  It was at his country club.  Out of 70 people who ate there, 22 got so ill they didn't work Monday, and some missed Tuesday too, the boss included.   The person of honor, who is elderly, did not get ill.


The health department is actively involved in trying to find the source.  I know they got 'samples' from the locals that were hit by this.  They even came by the office to pick the bosses up, they also wanted the phone numbers of those not affected so they could find out what they did or didn't eat.  It was a fixed dinner, so there was only a meat or fish choice.  Boss ate the meat.  His wife, who has a delicate stomach, ate the same as he did and had no problem.   I think it was an appetizer.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

ouzo's picture

(post #51993, reply #18 of 23)

What a horrible story.  Has everyone recovered? 

 


No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

ashleyd's picture

(post #51993, reply #11 of 23)

The Fat Duck is small, I suspect 40 covers max.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Regality's picture

(post #51993, reply #20 of 23)

Has the restaurant reopened?  I noticed that in MSL, on Martha's calendar, she has plans to eat there.

ashleyd's picture

(post #51993, reply #21 of 23)

Been re-opened a while


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Regality's picture

(post #51993, reply #22 of 23)

Thanks.  Did they find the source?  Or was it just a case of mass hysteria?

ashleyd's picture

(post #51993, reply #23 of 23)

All a bit vague, but they suspect that one of the staff came back to work too early after having some kind of bug.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.