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Heston Blumenthal closed his Knightsbridge restaurant Dinner on Sunday due to an outbreak of the norovirus bug. It comes five years after the chef had to close his three-Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck for two weeks for the same reason.
Reports indicate that the issue first arose a couple of weeks ago, when a few customers who had eaten at Dinner, which is set in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hyde Park hotel, fell unwell and called the restaurant to let them know. The team at Dinner let Westminster Council’s environmental health team know, but tests they carried out came back negative.
It was on Friday that confirmation reached Blumenthal that three members of staff and two customers had norovirus, and he made the decision to close the restaurant. In a statement, the chef said: ‘I am very sorry for the inconvenience to those customers affected by the cancellations. 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’. Referencing the previous breakout at The Fat Duck, Blumenthal also added: ‘We are in a unique position of having an insight into the behaviour of this bug and I will always err on the side of extreme caution.’
It was suspected that oysters infected with norovirus were the cause of the outbreak at The Fat Duck, though no suggestions have yet been made for its origin at Dinner.