Exeter Pub Illness Outbreak: Lawyers Call For Answers Over Decision To Keep Site Open

More People Affected By Problems Following Initial Reports Of Norovirus


Specialist lawyers representing victims of illness outbreaks in the UK and abroad are calling for a full investigation to be held into the steps taken to prevent the spread of norovirus linked to a Toby Carvery pub in Exeter, after more than 100 people were reportedly affected.

The Exeter Arms in Middlemoor was closed on Tuesday (April 7th) following a visit by environmental health officials.

It is reported that the site underwent a steam clean on April 1st after reports of a customer falling ill, but the restaurant then resumed trading the following day. Now it is believed more people who visited the pub across the Easter weekend, including staff from a local charity, have also been affected by illness.

In a statement, Toby Carvery said it is working closely with environmental health experts and will provide further information as to when the pub is able to re-open.
Specialist illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who represent victims of illness outbreaks both in the UK and at holiday resorts abroad, are now calling on the pub chain and local authorities to review the decision made to keep the site open following the initial illness reports.

The team of experts notably represent victims affected by illness linked to the Woks Cooking takeaway in Kirkby, Liverpool last year, as well as others who fell ill following an outbreak linked to the Street Spice food festival in Newcastle in 2013.

Expert Opinion
While it is welcome to see that the pub voluntarily closed its doors this week after it was linked to these issues, clear concerns have now emerged regarding the number of people who may have been affected by this outbreak.

"A specific issue which must be placed in the spotlight is the reported decision to keep the pub open to the public despite staff being aware of one customer falling ill. Considering the number of people affected by these issues, it is clear that many people will be seeking answers regarding this decision and whether further action should have been taken from the outset.

"Gastric illness of this nature can have serious long-term health consequences for those affected and this should not be forgotten.

"Everything possible should be done to understand how these illness issues emerged and whether steps can be taken which will ensure that the risk of similar problems occurring in the future can be reduced."
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner