World-famous British restaurant shuts in poisoning scare | world | Hindustan Times
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World-famous British restaurant shuts in poisoning scare

world Updated: Feb 28, 2009 10:45 IST

British restaurant The Fat Duck, considered one of the very best in the world, has been temporarily closed due to a food poisoning scare, owner Heston Blumenthal said on Saturday.

The restaurant in Bray, west of London, which has three Michelin stars, was closed as a precaution after customers reported feeling unwell.

Between 30 and 40 people are understood to have complained of illness over the last two to three weeks.

The Fat Duck was named the best restaurant in the world in 2005 by Restaurant magazine and has been in second place since then in their annual poll of international chefs and critics.

Tests by celebrity chef Blumenthal's own food safety consultants and environmental health officers from the local authorities have so far proved inconclusive.

"It's so weird - we haven't found anything. But I can't take the risk of keeping open until we have exhausted every single avenue," Blumenthal told The Times newspaper.

"We have even looked at which member of staff served which table to see if there is a link.

"The Fat Duck is a labour of love and we all put so much work in to give the best possible experience for diners, and the last thing you want is for someone ringing up and saying that they have been ill.

"If we don't find anything at all, I don't think any insurance company would pay out."

Blumenthal takes a scientific approach to cooking and flavours, researching the molecular compounds of dishes.

Diners have to book months in advance to secure a table at The Fat Duck, where the tasting menu costs 130 pounds (186 dollars, 147 euros) and features snail porridge, salmon poached in liquorice gel and nitro-scrambled egg and bacon ice cream.