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Danish Restaurant Charging $440 for Meal Leaves 63 Guests Sick with Norovirus

Update Date: Mar 09, 2013 12:54 PM EST
Noma
Cooks are seen in a test kitchen of the Noma restaurant behind a rack of spices in Copenhagen October 25, 2012.
(Photo : Reuters/Fabian Bimmer)

Regardless of all the "Please wash hands after using the toilet" in most public restrooms in restaurants, many people still chose to overlook this crucial hygiene step. As a consequence, dirty hands have been found to be the culprit in the recent norovirus outbreak at Noma, an exclusive restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to food inspectors.

The upscale restaurant - which charges a whopping 2,500 kroner ($440) for a 20-course meal including wine and was voted the world's best eatery - left one employee and 63 guests ill after eating at Noma between Feb. 12-16, according to a Financial Times report on Saturday, citing a report by Danish food inspectors.

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The guests were left vomiting and with diarrhoea after contracting a norovirus. According to the report, the inspectors blamed poor hand hygiene and a lack of hot running water in one of the kitchen's sinks for employees to properly wash their hands with.

The norovirus causes stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. The sickness is sometimes referred to as the stomach flu, though influenza has nothing to do with it.

Customers who were sick emailed the restaurant to complain, but they failed to react which also resulted in them receiving a warning from Danish inspectors for not taking responsibility.

"We acknowledge that the internal procedures haven't been good enough and because of busyness, employees didn't check e- mails," the report quoted Noma as saying.

Noma managing director Peter Kreiner told Reuters, "We are in the business of making people happy and taking care of our guests, so this is the worst thing that could happen to us." 

Nome had previously won Restaurant magazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title the past three consecutive years. According to a BBC report, guests are encouraged to make reservations at least months in advance.

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