Chefs know tartare about food safety; foodies may know less; UK food critic poisoned by his dinner

Gourmet and food critic Michael Winner, 75, was hospitalized with E. coli poisoning after a meal of steak tartare at home in London.

"For some reason I fancied steak tartare and I had it four days in a row – the steak was bought from the best butcher in town," says Winner.

We have extensively documented that celebrity chefs know squat about food safety; we have extensively documented that self-proclaimed foodies and critics may know less; this goes to a new level of dumb.

Doctors spent four days getting the infection under control – with his wife of two months, Geraldine, bringing him specially prepared meals because he did not dare risk eating hospital food.

"I was in an ordinary NHS ward and they were quite marvellous – except for the hospital food, which you mustn’t eat or you die."

Winner had to be flown back to Britain from Barbados in Sir Philip Green’s private jet after he suffered a serious bout of food poisoning in 2007.

He nearly lost his left leg after being infected by the vibrio vulnificus bacteria from an oyster.

This entry was posted in Food Safety Culture and tagged , , , , by Douglas Powell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time