The Fat Duck restaurant – owned and run by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal – has received a £200,000 compensation payout from its own insurance company over a food poisoning outbreak which forced the chef to temporarily close the establishment. The news has dismayed diners who became ill, as they are still fighting for their personal injury compensation.
The insurance company made the payout to cover lost business after the restaurant was forced to close for two weeks in 2009. The £150 a head eatery was the source of a serious norovirus outbreak. The Health Protection Agency conducted a report into the outbreak which found that unprepared oysters the restaurant was supplied with had become infected. This most likely happened through contact with raw sewage seepage into the sea. The report criticised cleaning methods used at the restaurant and its’ handling of shellfish. The local council however has insisted it will not be taking action over the outbreak.
In total 529 diners became ill with the norovirus, which causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting. They are still fighting for personal injury compensation from the restaurant’s insurance company. In a statement by the restaurant they reiterated that everyone who became ill has been invited back by the restaurant for a complimentary meal.