Chef Heston Blumenthal says tests have ruled out food
poisoning after up to 40 customers reported feeling unwell.
He shut down his
Michelin-starred restaurant the Fat Duck, in Bray, Berkshire,
last Tuesday and called in environmental health
The entire menu was
tested but all results proved negative. Final tests are being carried out
to see if an airborne virus caused the sickness.
Blumenthal said he
hoped the restaurant would reopen by the end of the week.
The chef told the BBC:
"It has been awful. We have done our own food testing for the last
tested from the food coming out of the ground, from the farm into the
kitchen and to the customer.
"When we started
getting telephone calls we took it very seriously.
"I don't want
anyone leaving with a headache let alone feeling unwell."
He decided to close the
restaurant as some of the results took up to a week to come back.
"We've had staff
tested, some customers tested and so far it is categorically not food
poisoning," he added.
"We are now
looking at the possibility of an airborne virus.
"This could have
come from a customer, a staff member not showing symptoms or from outside
"A customer called
me to say they came in with a table of four, three of them got ill, but
then their children got ill so they are convinced it is a virus."
officers from Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council are carrying out their
final tests, which include looking for signs of a virus.
The chef has so far had
to cancel more than 500 bookings.
Diners at the Fat Duck
- one of only three restaurants in the UK with three Michelin stars -
can experience dishes such as snail porridge or sardine on toast sorbet.
But they need to book
months in advance to secure a table at the restaurant, where the tasting
menu costs £130 .