HPA to Blumenthal: “Check, please!”

Posted by Sharon on Mar 23

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Fat Duck RestaurantThose of us with employer health benefits shouldn't be taking them for granted, especially after considering the recent uproar over Chef Heston Blumenthal's sickly staff at his British restaurant, The Fat Duck.

The Health Protection Agency, or HPA, has released several disturbing figures relating The Fat Duck restaurant to an increase of customer-related illnesses. Originally these illnesses were thought to be merely food poisoning.

However, further investigation showed that six Fat Duck staff members were infected with norovirus, and were all working at the restaurant when the customers became ill. Norovirus is more commonly known as gastroenteritis, or in layman's terms, an "intestinal/stomach bug" producing near-identical symptoms to that of an infection with food poisoning.

So the real question is: why on earth were staff members cooking in a professional kitchen while they were still sick? And the answer is: health benefits that left a lot to be desired.

According to the Gulf Times, the restaurant industry is infamous for neglecting to cover essential sick time for its employees. Sick time is mandated by the HPA as well; a 48-hour rest period is required by all ill staff members in order to give restaurant patrons the best chance at maintaining their health.

So when six of Fat Duck's infected employees showed up to work because they knew their health benefits wouldn't cover the sick days, and eight of Fat Duck's customers complained of illness... well, you do the math. Hence, Chef Blumenthal isn't going anywhere out of the HPA's line of vision anytime soon.

Makes you that much more thankful for those paid sick days, doesn't it?

Source: Gulf Times

One Response

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