Heston's done it again!

As Heston Blumenthal's London restaurant 'Dinner by Heston Blumenthal' closes, I'm wondering about chef protocol and the benefits of eating in!

by Carol Muskoron

'Take oysters off the menu, Heston!'


'Put him in the stocks and throw manky old seafood at him!'


Such is the banter I'm hearing around me following the news that Heston Blumenthal's two-Michelin-starred 'Dinner by Heston Blumenthal' Park Lane restaurant in London has shut due to 24 diners and 21 staff members falling ill with a vomiting bug after eating there. Bad luck or bad practice, or both? It's hard to say but not all that long ago Heston's flagship restaurant 'The Fat Duck' in Bray, Berkshire, was said to have reacted too slowly by a bigger outbreak of the norovirus among its customers.


Of course, if you eat out, you run the risk of eating food cooked by people who might not be as careful as you about hygiene, and accidents do happen - someone handling ingredients that will be eaten fresh might be unwittingly contagious, for example. And if you eat in, accidents happen too, but I'm the laughing stock of my household because I wash my hands so often in the kitchen - I can't help being terrified of making people ill. 


So what can you do to protect yourself from the norovius? Two things for starters...


1) You should be wary of raw, unwashed food which might have been handled by someone with the norovirus.


2) You should think carefully about ordering oysters. According to the brilliant allaboutyou feature on the norovirus 76% of British oysters carry the norovirus but there's no way of telling whether this would infect people eating the shellfish.


If I were Heston, I would take oysters off the menu - I think they're just too dodgy for a fine dining enterprise. What do you think? As for restaurant eating, I'm not going to become a hermit and never eat out, but I will keep up the compulsive hand washing at home - I figure it's worth it. If you're as paranoid as me, you may well want to check out our top hand creams round-up.


'Dinner by Heston Blumenthal' is expected to be closed all week.


Incidentally I interviewed Heston Blumenthal a few years ago, he was quite sweet and I would not put him in the stocks and throw seafood at him, fresh or otherwise. I do feel sorry for him this morning. Read the Heston interview here. And find out how Heston came to fame here.


Feel like eating in? Check out our... 

Romantic recipes for Valentine's Day

20 delicious dinner party recipes

15-minute dinner recipes


Oh and, don't forget our Celebrity chef recipes, including Heston's panna cotta and poached salmon recipes


Look out for updates on what's happening at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.


Determined to cook oysters? Try our oysters in whisky cream recipe

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About The Authors

Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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