Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Fat Duck Virus Strikes Berks

A Michelin-rated restaurant owned by celebrity chef Heston Bloominheck has been closed following an outbreak of the Fat Duck avian flu virus.

Disease control officers from Defra and the Ministry of Health shut down Bloominheck’s Manky Mallard restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, on Tuesday after receiving confirmed reports that patrons had started quacking and waddling, web-footed fashion, around the car park in a disorientated state.

A spokesman for the celebrity chef said he was "fanatical" about food hygiene and had not only pulled out his own hair trying to track down the source of the outbreak but also his eyebrows.

Over the past two weeks, between thirty and forty people are understood to have complained of illness and since been diagnosed as suffering from Fat Duck flu after eating at the Manky Mallard - one of only three restaurants in the UK awarded the coveted Michelin radial tyres badge.

The Fat Duck coronavirus, which is not believed to be fatal alike H5N1 Bird flu and SARS, has now been contained and the source traced to supplies of Peking Duck recently shipped in from China.
Earlier speculations that the source might have been the restaurant’s speciality Bombay Duck are now redundant after it was noted to be a fish and not a water fowl.

Diners at the Fat Duck - voted "the best place to eat on Earth" by the prestigious Chew & Spew gourmet guide magazine in 2007 - can experience dishes such as rat’s testicles porridge or frogs brains on toast sorbet.
However, would-be patrons need to book months in advance to secure a table at the restaurant, where the tasting menu alone costs more than Zimbabwe’s per capita income.

Bloominheck researches the molecular compounds of dishes to achieve a greater understanding of taste and was the first recorded chef to use this forensic science technique to particularise and isolate the actual taste bud activators of the famous French dish ‘Coq au Vin Blanc’ (literal translation : Rooster in a white Transit van)

The Department of Health’s Minister for Epidemics, Dr. Isaac Coughalot, told reporters from the Germ Warfare Weekly that Fat Duck flu is a phrase similar to ‘Swine flu’, ‘Dog flu’, ‘Horse flu’, or ‘Human flu’ in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host : in this case ‘ducks’.

However he did emphasise that this particular strain of avian coronavirus not only affected fat ducks, but also thin ones, and could be carried by teals, cormorants, grebes and water hens.

The Manky Mallard’s source of the Fat Duck flu virus being traced to a recently-imported shipment of Peking Duck from China’s Wanking Autonomous Duck Collective has resulted in a full investigation by Beijing health officials to determine if the virus has mutated and become 'zoonotic' and jumped to humans.

In rural parts of the PRC, farm workers live in close proximity with their animals, eating and sleeping in the same confines, often quite intimately. As to how intimately, readers are advised to use their own imagination and take careful note that duck buggery is a capital offence under Chinese law.

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