Mexican restaurant Wahaca closes nine restaurants over reported Norovirus outbreak

It is believed over 160 customers and 200 workers have fallen ill in the last week at branches of top Mexican chain Wahaca in what is reportedly an outbreak of Norovirus.

Flagship branches, including Oxford Circus and Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, are currently closed. If you have plans to go to a branch of the restaurant, you are advised to look online first to check it is open.

“We’re working closely with environmental health officers and the restaurant chain to investigate,” Deborah Turbitt, from Public Health England, told the Standard.

“Currently, the source of the outbreak is not confirmed and this remains under investigation.

“Norovirus can be very unpleasant but is rarely serious.”

The restaurant was founded by Thomasina Miers, who won the BBC’s Masterchef in 2005.

The chain also has branches in popular areas like the Southbank, Upper Street, Brixton and more. These are open as normal.

Wahaca said in a statement: “Last week a number of our staff and customers were struck down by what is suspected to be the winter vomiting bug, norovirus.

“We assessed each case and when it became clear they were not isolated incidents, we got in touch with relevant officials at Public Health England and Environmental Health Officers.

“In tandem with that, we took our own precautionary measures – voluntarily closing affected restaurants, carrying out anti-viral deep cleaning at all of our restaurants, whether affected or not, and ensuring that any staff member who had reported illness remained off site until their symptoms had ceased for at least 48 hours.”

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