World’s best Michelin restaurant Noma struggles with Norovirus outbreak
Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, was sitting on the top of the list of the World’s best Michelin restaurants. Known for its exotic and rather freshly prepared food from local sources, it was rated amongst the favorite by many magazines, and food buffs alike. But just like the good times which end very abruptly, Noma is now facing one of its toughest challenges till date; the Norovirus outbreak. Reportedly, between February 12th and February 16th this year, close to 60 people have experienced feelings of nausea and diarrhea after consuming food from the restaurant’s menu. What makes it even more serious for the establishment, is that the Food Hygiene agencies have concluded that the virus came from the staff of the restaurant, which in the past have been responsible for its high standards.
The Noro-virus makes it tough to be cracked down upon, because of its notorious characteristic of surviving under high water temperatures and even the strongest of soaps. Also, the virus spreads with considerable ease, and the exact sources are not easily traceable. However, on other hand, it is said that the Danish food agency, Fødevarestyrelsen, had sent an email to the restaurant’s management, but did not get an appropriate response from them, after they detailed out several hygiene and food preparatory issues.
On the night of February the 15th, one of the employees felt sick and reported of similar symptoms which the sick victims also reported of. He was asked to not come to work the next day as was the policy but by then, the damage was done, and the virus did spread quite wide. Some inspections later, it was revealed that the restaurant had a sink or 2, which did not have the needed hot water repairs, which meant that the employees couldn’t appropriately clean their hands while at work. There were prompt measures taken, but the Danish health agency says that the virus outbreak cannot be stopped so easily. The kitchen was shut for 2 days, so that all the food stock could be thrown out and replaced with fresh ingredients, but it seems that the outbreak it has caused is still going down stronger on victims. But barring the recent disaster, the restaurant has more than a decent amount of reputation, for exotic Nordic cuisine.
Amongst it’s offerings are Onion with fermented pears, brown crab, egg yolk and herbs, beets and plums, lumpfish and apple, potatoes and bleak fish roe, Gammel Dansk, brown cheese sloe berries, and even pike perch and cabbages. Its wine list runs into 27 different combinations of white varieties with different nations across the world, including a lot from Europe. The vintage varieties don’t run out any sooner either.
Address: Noma, Strandgade 93, DK-1401, Copenhagen K, Denmark
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday
Lunch: 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Dinner: 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM