Dozens fall ill after eating at elite Copenhagen restaurant

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 March, 2013, 7:31am


Its foraged Nordic ants, live shrimp and local carrots in malt soil have seen it voted the best restaurant in the world; its tasting menu costs almost HK$2,000 a head, or double that with wine - that's if you can get a table.

But, given its cult following, even the three-month wait for a reservation at Noma in Copenhagen is unlikely to shorten despite more than 60 diners falling ill due to a vomiting and diarrhoea bug after eating there.

It came as a huge surprise that Noma's award-winning designer kitchen had spread viral gastroenteritis to scores of customers last month.

The Danish food authority report came days before the Michelin Guide was due to unveil its latest ratings for Copenhagen on Thursday with hopes pinned on finally gaining three stars.

Health inspectors criticised the restaurant for not alerting authorities earlier and for not taking proper action after an employee fell ill at home after work.

In total, 63 customers who had eaten there between February 12 and 16 said they were sick. It was not clear what food caused the infection.

In a statement Peter Kreiner, Noma's managing director said: "It is a matter that affects us all deeply, and which we are really sorry about."

The restaurant recognised that internal procedures had not been good enough and said an e-mail from the employee reporting his sickness had not been seen. Kreiner said the restaurant was co-operating with health authorities and organising customer compensation.