Wahaca Closes in Westfield After Suspected Norovirus Outbreak

Over 360 people fall ill across nine of the chain’s restaurants

Wahaca Closes in Westfield After Suspected Norovirus Outbreak

Wahaca in the Westfield Shopping Centre

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Wahaca, the Mexican restaurant in the Westfield shopping centre is closed today (3 November) as health officials investigate a suspected outbreak of the norovirus across the chain.

An investigation has been launched by Public Health England after over 200 workers and 160 customers including those from the Shepherd's Bush branch became ill with severe diarrhoea and vomiting over the last week. The disease can cause severe discomfort for three days or more but rarely has lasting effects.

Nine restaurants in the chain have been closed including five in London. The company’s web site describes the closures as being down to ‘unforeseen circumstances. Some of the sites have reopened after a deep cleaning of the premises.

Wahaca was cofounded by MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers and the company say they get their inspiration from Mexican street food.

A Wahaca spokeswoman said, “We can confirm a number of our employees and customers have reported becoming ill over the past week. Initial tests suggest that the cause of this illness was Norovirus. Following these reports, Wahaca voluntarily closed nine sites.”

Deborah Turbitt, London deputy director for health protection for Public Health England, said, “We’re working closely with environmental health officers and the restaurant chain to investigate. Currently, the source of the outbreak is not confirmed and this remains under investigation.”

November 3, 2016

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