Raymond Blanc's lamb's liver 'risked lives'
Chef's brasserie continued to serve dish despite food poisoning, court is told
Wednesday 14 November 2012
A restaurant run by the celebrity chef Raymond Blanc risked killing diners by selling dangerously undercooked meat, a court heard yesterday.
Staff at Brasserie Blanc in Covent Garden, central London, were warned their method for searing lamb's liver was in breach of food-hygiene rules.
One woman had already suffered a serious case of food poisoning after eating the meal.
But the upscale restaurant, part of a chain owned by the Michelin-starred French chef, ignored the warning and continued serving up the dish. After another diner was struck down with a bug the restaurant was banned from selling the liver meal, Westminster Magistrates' Court was told.
"When undercooked, the lamb's liver can likely lead to getting food poisoning, causing vomiting, diarrhoea, in people who eat it", an environmental health officer, Kate Eastland, said.
"If a vulnerable group such as the elderly or young people eat it, it could potentially be life threatening."
The restaurant, located opposite the Royal Opera House, only opened last May and is one of 18 across the country run by Brasseries Blanc Ltd, of which the top chef is a director.
Staff at the Covent Garden branch ignored a warning from Westminster Council that the lamb's liver main course, served with potatoes and green beans, was potentially fatal. Chefs were not cooking the meat at a temperature of at least 70C for two minutes, which is required to kill any bacteria, the court was told.
"On July 3, a colleague sent a letter to them explaining about the concerns of serving liver when it was not cooked through," Ms Eastland said. "It was backed up by evidence from the Food Standards Agency."
The visit had been prompted by a customer reporting three days of sickness on 22 June, after eating at the restaurant a month after it opened.
But staff continued to sell the liver dish, with a note on the menu telling diners it would only be seared before being served. Restaurant bosses withdrew the lamb dish from the whole chain of Blanc Brasseries the day after they were served with a prohibition notice banning the sale of the liver on 9 August.
District Judge Michael Snow criticised the firm – which avoided prosecution because it complied with the terms of the notice – for ignoring advice on hygiene regulations. "There was an imminent risk of injury to health."
He ruled the notice had been correctly served and ordered the restaurant chain to pay prosecution costs of £3,103.
Life & Style blogs
Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
The 10 Best kitchen knives
Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
Kim Jong-ale: How did Ushers brewery of Trowbridge end up in North Korea producing Pyongyang's number one beer - and what did it take to set up a taste test back in Wiltshire?
- 1 'Natural' energy drink banned for containing erectile dysfunction drug
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 4 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
- 5 Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
iJobs Food & Drink
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...