London

Raymond Blanc's lamb's liver off menu after poisonings

Raymond Blanc
Image caption Raymond Blanc is a director of the company that owns Brasserie Blanc

Chef Raymond Blanc's Covent Garden restaurant has been banned from serving an "undercooked" liver dish which left two diners with food poisoning.

Brasserie Blanc is forbidden from offering pink lamb's liver after ignoring a Westminster Council environmental health warning.

It posed an "imminent risk of injury to health", Westminster Magistrates' Court was told.

Mr Blanc, 62, is a director of the company that owns the restaurant.

The two diners contracted campylobacter food poisoning after they had the dish on separate occasions this summer.

'Health risk'

The Brasserie Bar Co. said it had taken liver off the menu at all 18 of its Brasserie Blanc restaurants throughout the UK after it was ordered to pay £3,103 in costs.

Guidance from the Food Standards Agency recommends that lamb's liver must be cooked at 70 degrees centigrade for at least two minutes.

James Armitage, Westminster City Council's food, health & safety manager, said: "After receiving two separate complaints of food poisoning which may have originated from eating at a Covent Garden restaurant, our officers investigated and issued a notice which prevented the restaurant from serving undercooked lamb's liver.

"Today's court decision to uphold the notice is welcome as the serving of undercooked meat, without suitable controls in place, is a public health risk.

"Health inspectors have agreed with the restaurant the safety measures that need to be in place for the restaurant to be allowed to safely put the dish back on its menu."

A restaurant spokeswoman said: "Brasserie Bar Co. has not contested the environmental health officers' enforcement and will no longer serve liver in any of its restaurants.

"In order to serve liver and comply with Westminster Council, it would need to be overcooked to such an extent that our customers just won't eat it."

Mr Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons restaurant in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, was awarded two Michelin stars in 1985.

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