AN investigation has been launched following reports that customers fell ill after eating at one of the Capital’s newest restaurants.
NHS Lothian has teamed up with Public Health England to carry out the investigation after suspected cases of norovirus at Mexican eatery Wahaca just weeks after it opened.
People who ate at the St Andrew Street restaurant at the end of last month have now been invited to complete an online questionnaire detailing their experience. It is not yet clear if the suspected outbreak can be linked to similar incidents in other Wahaca outets.
The chain was forced to close nine restaurants, including five in London, after more than 300 people were reported to have caught the bug.
Dr Janet Stevenson, consultant in public health medicine for NHS Lothian’s health protection team, is now appealing for anyone who ate at the Capital’s branch to get in touch.
In a recent email, she said: “NHS Lothian in conjunction with Public Health England is conducting an investigation into the recent illnesses which Wahaca have reported to us amongst some people who dined in their restaurants several weeks ago.
“Wahaca are keen to reassure customers that this isolated incident has been managed with the help of NHS Lothian and local authorities and stringent control measures are in place.”
Dr Stevenson added NHS Lothian wanted to hear from all customers, whether or not they became ill.
One Edinburgh resident, who did not want to be named, told the News he went for dinner at the Capital’s new branch on October 27 and fell ill shortly afterwards.
He said he ordered food from the restaurant’s “Mexican feast” set menu but for the next 48 hours suffered “sickness, aching limbs, headache, fever and stomach cramps”.
The outlet was temporarily closed the week commencing October 31 but has since re-opened.
A restaurant spokesman said: “The investigation was being handled on a national level, but with the support of local authorities and EHOs [environmental health officers], and continues to be monitored very carefully at each site, including Edinburgh.”
Health Protection Scotland (HPS) has been drafted in to help investigate.
A spokesman said: “HPS is aware of one restaurant in Scotland that is affected.
“The local NHS board and local authority environmental health teams are working with the restaurant to ensure all measures are in place.
“As part of the national investigation, diners who ate at this restaurant on particular dates have been asked to complete a questionnaire.”
They were unable to confirm exactly how many diners in Edinburgh had been affected.