Top Copenhagen Restaurant Cited by Health Authorities

Here's some worrisome news for foodie travelers to Copenhagen: Politiken.dk is reporting that several guests at Noma Restaurant, named the best in the world three times by Restaurant Magazine, have fallen ill since last month. 

An inspection of Noma by the Danish Food Standards Agency has established that there have been serious problems at the two-star Michelin-ranked eatery, with 63 reported cases of illness out of 78 guests who dined there between February 12 to 16. The inspectors indicated that the cases could have been caused by a sick kitchen employee.

News of the incident comes at the worst possible time for Noma, as the world’s restaurants eagerly await next week’s announcement of which restaurants have received Michelin stars for 2013. Fortunately, there do not seem to be any new reports of illness since mid-February.

The UK's Daily Mail notes that food poisoning can have a major impact on top-end restaurants. In 2009, British chef Heston Blumenthal received negative headlines and was forced to close his three-star restaurant The Fat Duck for around three weeks after hundreds of guests became ill.

Noma, known for experimental ingredients such as ants and fermented grasshoppers, has been voted winner of The S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Guests flock to the Danish restaurant from all over the world and pay hundreds of dollars for a 12-course set menu for two  that includes wine pairing and a tour of the kitchen to meet some of the 50 chefs.

When the restaurant releases monthly bookings, two-seater tables are usually snapped up in less than an hour.

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