I, and a few dozen others attending the same industry lunch, were poisoned by the Savoy in the 1990s. Salmonella.
I have never been so ill in my life. I was delirious for 24 hours. When I discovered what had happened (got my office to cancel an appointment, and when I’d recovered enough to call and apologise for breaking the appointment, was told: “Oh you were at the Savoy lunch, weren’t you? They’ve declared an official outbreak. Go and see your doctor.”)
And they had. Westminster City Council was handling it. I had to see the quack, do ‘stool tests’ (what fun), and follow-up tests.
One or two people nearly pegged out, apparently. A year or so later the Savoy’s insurers coughed compensation. I, being a lowly Less Tired Old Hack back then, got £780. No way would I EVER go through that ordeal again for that sort of cash. Others got much more.
I remember being absolutely infuriated. Some incompetent had put me at measurable risk of death. It provided fuel for a stinging editorial, anyway (then, as now, I was editing a food industry journal). Oh, and I sold the story to the Evening Standard and copped a nice freelance fee.