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Michelin star chef jailed after serving food that put wedding guests in hospital

Michelin star chef jailed after serving food that put wedding guests in hospital

The Italian chef served harmful food to numerous guests

A Michelin star chef has been jailed after serving harmful food at a wedding to numerous guests that resulted in them being hospitalised.

The wedding took place in a northern Italy, with guests visiting the restaurant that overlooked Lake Mergozzo to celebrate the marriage.

The banquet took place at the Piccolo Lago di Verbania restaurant, which holds two Michelin stars, back in 2021, as reported by La Repubblica.

The restuarant faced Lake Mergozzo.
Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images

Nicknamed 'the freshwater chef', 59-year-old Marco Sacco is known for his seafood dishes.

He served up a clam risotto to his many guests, who later were found to be quite unwell and complaining about having nausea, vomiting and stomach pain, as some checked into hospitals.

It was later found that the clams, which were imported from France, has been infected by norovirus before the chef had unknowingly served them to guests.

Norovirus, also known as the 'winter vomiting bug', can cause vomiting (unsurprisingly), stomach pain and diarrhoea, though it usually only lasts a couple of days.

The clams were served raw, though there was no warning on the packaging it came in, with the chef assuming they would be fine as normal.

The chef served his guests raw clams, which were later discovered to have been infected by norovirus.
Getty Stock Image

An Italian court has accused both the chef and the restaurant manager of 'culpable negligence and trading harmful foodstuffs' following the incident.

Sacco defended his case by revealing that he had served 3,000 similar dishes with these ingredients and no problems ever rose.

Speaking to Il Gusto, he said: "The menu included a risotto with borage and raw clams.

"We bought clams that can be eaten raw, as the manufacturer's label shows and as shown in the product technical data sheet.

"They are clams that I have been using since 2015. Since I have had this supplier I will have served over three thousand dishes like that." He concluded.

Marco Sacco claims that he wasn't aware that the clams were raw.

Sacco and restaurant manager Raffaella Marchetti were given £18,000 fines to pay in damages, which included over £6,800 to the couple and £200 to each of the 53 affected guests.

Their legal fees also cost over £8,500 to cover.

Both were also sentenced to two months and 20 days of prison time, but it has since been conditionally suspended.

Igles Corelli, a chef who coordinates the Gambero Rosso Academy cooking school, explained to The Times that food like this is 'problematic' and said consumers will now be aware of the risks of eating raw dishes.

Corelli also highlighted that Sacco should have been more careful by cooking them in the optimal temperature of 64C-65C.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@marcosaccochef / Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images

Topics: Health, Food And Drink, World News