Reply To: Food poisioning at 5 Star European hotel

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A couple of summers ago, I met some friends for lunch at a 5-star hotel. It was the same chain as the one that appears to have caused the SwissExPat’s problems. It was in London and it is located VERY close to Trafalgar Square.

We went to the roof terrace (overlooking Trafalgar Square) and had Asian platters to share. The chicken satay tasted a bit odd at first bite, and I noticed that the meat was not fully cooked. I raised the issue with the staff, who weren’t that concerned about the health risks and more concerned about whether or not they would knock it off my bill.

Having told them of the issue, I was somewhat surprised to see that they had not checked with other diners who had the platter whether or not their chicken was properly cooked, nor did they seem to stop the flow of the same dish coming out of the kitchen.

It is the lack of attention to detail like this that creates the problem, or allows it to persist even when it has been identified.

As SExP, ToH and others’ posts show, this can happen anywhere.

There is a series of (I think) Chartered Institute of Environmental Health posters that I have seen recently. One shows the outside of an apparently high class restaurant and states “Come in. we have mice.” The sister poster shows a “greasy spoon” cafe, and says “Come in, we have a 5 star environmental health rating.” Exactly the point – appearances can be entirely deceptive.

Happy eating,


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