Noma, 'the world's best restaurant,' feels the heat after 63 diners get vomiting virus

 

It has been voted the world's best restaurant three years in a row, but is unlikely to be be winning any hygiene awards after dozens of diners fell ill with food poisoning.

Noma, the two Michelin-starred venue in Copenhagen, has been censured by the Danish food inspectorate after 63 out of 78 customers who ate there over a four-day period last month suffered from a norovirus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

The restaurant, run by René Redzepi, who has worked at El Bulli and the French Laundry, and Claus Meyer, issued an apology after Denmark's food authority found that poor hygiene in the kitchen was to blame for the outbreak.

The agency, Fødevarestyrelsen, wrote in its report: "There has been illness among staff who have handled the food product. The inspection visit was due to guests complaining of vomiting and diarrhoea."

Noma was also criticised for not disinfecting its kitchen quickly enough to prevent the virus from spreading. There was also no hot water in the taps that staff used to wash their hands.

The restaurant was inspected late last month after diners became ill with what is known in Denmark as Roskilde virus, the Copenhagen Post reported.

Noma acknowledged that internal procedures had not been good enough and that an e-mail from an employee reporting his sickness had not been seen in time.

The managing director, Peter Kreiner, said: "Since the outbreak we have worked closely with the health authorities to get to the bottom of it and find the source of infection.

"We are extremely sorry about all of this and I have personally been in dialogue with all the guests who were affected and discussed compensation for them." The restaurant would not be closing down, he added.

Noma – a portmanteau formed from the Danish words nordisk, meaning Nordic, and mad, meaning food – was named the best restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by Restaurant magazine, an accolade previously held by Spain's El Bulli, the French Laundry in California and the British chef Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire. The winner of the 2013 award will be announced next month.

The restaurant offers reinvented Nordic cuisine and a meal for two with wine can cost hundreds of pounds. Despite having only 40 covers a night, it receives about 100,000 booking enquiries a month.

Last year Mr Redzepi was praised by the competition judges for being "the standard bearer for the New Nordic movement" and was recognised for using local and seasonal ingredients and foraged foods.

While its Christianshavn premises were closed last summer for renovations, Noma set up a pop-up restaurant at Claridge's hotel in London, offering a nine-course dégustation at £195 a head that included beef tartare with sorrel, juniper salt and tarragon cream – and live ants.

Noma is not the only top venue to be hit by its high-paying guests falling ill. The Fat Duck was closed for about three weeks in 2009 after hundreds of customers became unwell with norovirus. The Health Protection Agency later concluded that shellfish were to blame.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried