Heston Blumenthal has temporarily closed his London restaurant Dinner after it was hit by an outbreak of the same vomiting virus which forced him to close the Fat Duck five years ago.
24 diners and 21 members of staff were taken ill at the restaurant with the norovirus, which is located at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Hyde Park.
On its website, the hotel said: “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will be closed from Sunday 2 February 2014 for one week.”
James Armitage, food safety manager at Westminster City Council, was quoted in the press as saying: “Test results this week have shown that there has been an outbreak of norovirus at the Dinner restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge. The operators have now temporarily closed the restaurant and we believe this is the responsible thing to do.”
Westminster City Council said its food safety officers had carried out a thorough inspection of the restaurant premises and working practices and would continue to work closely with Public Health England and the operators until the restaurant is given the all-clear.
“We have already asked the restaurant to improve some of its hygiene procedures — including telling staff to wash their hands more often. All the changes were made immediately,” said Armitage.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Blumenthal said his personal experience and knowledge of the virus meant he knew that it was best to “err on the side of extreme caution”.
He apologised to customers for the closure: “I am very sorry for the inconvenience to those customers affected by cancellations,” he said.
“However, I will reopen the restaurant safe in the knowledge that we have done everything we can do to continue to strive to create the perfect environment and food for my guests to enjoy.”