Someone’s looking for some advertizing dollars: UK’s Independent says norovirus at Fat Duck was ‘a freakish occurrence;’ check toilets for cleanliness

I first went to London in 1993. I was once again a graduate student, someone looked after the older two girls, and we took 6-week-old Braunwynn.

I loved to get a morning coffee – which cost about $895.58 pounds or something outrageous — and reading the broadsheet newspaper, The Independent.

About that time I also realized, The Independent sorta sucked.

Rob Sharp writes in today’s Independent that Robin Hancock – not the musician, but the proprietor of Wright Brothers, an oyster wholesaler which supplies top restaurants – says the risks are overblown. In fact, he says, oysters should be enjoyed because they are full of vitamins, iron, calcium and are low in cholesterol.

"I would like to set the record straight," he says. "food poisoning from oysters is something from the past. We sell four to five tonnes of oysters a week – that’s nearly 60,000 or 2.5 million a year – and we get maybe four or five cases of food poising in that time. What happened at the Fat Duck was somewhat of a freakish occurrence." Several thousand fishermen breathe a sigh of relief.

Fat Duck was 529. That’s more than four or five.

Hancock recommends the old adage of "checking to see if the toilets are clean" when venturing into a restaurant; general levels of hygiene can be a useful clue.

Not useful.

“We should not make too much of the viral thing; it is exceptionally rare. Again, I think the staff at the Fat Duck – where they are obsessed with a clinical, almost scientific preparation of food and are more than aware of these processes – were incredibly unlucky."

Or incredibly sloppy.