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Maidstone: MuMu restaurant closed due to suspected norovirus outbreak

A popular Kent restaurant has shut its doors after dozens of staff and diners reportedly fell ill.

The owner of Mu Mu in Maidstone made the decision to temporarily close down on Saturday after a suspected norovirus outbreak.

The restaurant reported it to Environmental Health, who are now investigating.

MuMu Bar & Restaurant in Week Street
MuMu Bar & Restaurant in Week Street

On the eatery’s Facebook page there were reports of more than 30 diners suffering from sickness after eating there. Among those said to be poorly were a number of couples who had been there on Valentine’s Day and two pregnant women who had been attending a baby shower the previous weekend.

Some said they had ended up in hospital.

Owner of the Week Street restaurant, Ciaran O’Quigley, told the Kent Messenger that a couple of customers had rung the restaurant last Thursday and Friday to say they were feeling poorly. Claims of potential food poisoning were looked into, and ruled out.

It was only on Saturday evening, when members of staff became ill, that norovirus was suspected, he said.

The highly contagious bug is known to cause sickness and diarrhoea, and is prevalent in the winter months.

Owner Ciaran O'Quigley
Owner Ciaran O'Quigley

Mr O'Quigley said: “Because of this we have decided to close for a couple of days, and have contacted environmental health. We also have a company coming down to sanitise the building, and we hope to be re-open on Wednesday.

“It’s spread through the mouth so we don’t know if a customer or a member of staff had it first, but we need to take this safety precaution.

“We have been running Mu Mu for 25 years and run a highly professional business and of course we are devastated that we have taken this action but believe it is for the good of the community, our customers and staff and hopefully reasonable thinking people will understand this decision."

The restaurant, which is the second highest rated in Maidstone, according to review website TripAdvisor, received four out of five stars during its last food hygiene inspection.

It is not yet known when the results of the Environmental Health investigation will be available.

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