Michelin-starred restaurant in Japan closed temporarily after customers get food poisoning

The customers suffered from stomach pain and diarrhoea after eating sea urchin and other seafoods at the Kita Kamakura Saryo Gentoan.
The customers suffered from stomach pain and diarrhoea after eating sea urchin and other seafoods at the Kita Kamakura Saryo Gentoan.PHOTO: ST FILE

TOKYO (AFP) - A Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant specialising in a refined - and pricey - traditional cuisine has been ordered to temporarily close after customers came down with food poisoning, an official said on Wednesday (June 22).

A total of 14 customers suffered from stomach pain and diarrhoea after eating sea urchin, squid and other seafoods at the Kita Kamakura Saryo Gentoan south-west of Tokyo, a local government official said.

"None of them were hospitalised and were already recovering when food poisoning was reported," said the official in charge of food safety at the Kanagawa prefectural government in Yokohama, told AFP.

The problem was reported to the prefecture on Tuesday last week, three days after the affected customers dined at the establishment.

The restaurant, located in Kamakura, a scenic seaside city southwest of Tokyo, serves "kaiseki" - a Japanese form of haute cuisine in which each dish is small, simple and presented individually with utmost attention to detail.

"The symptoms appear to be mild, but suffering from diarrhoea isn't easy," said the official, who would only give his surname of Miyazaki.

The restaurant remained closed as of Wednesday as the prefecture investigated what caused the food poisoning.

"We're still examining if the seafood they had was the cause or if there were other factors," Mr Miyazaki said.

According to Gurunavi, a popular online restaurant guide, lunch at the establishment costs between 3,800 yen (S$49) and 8,000 yen, while dinner is between 9,000 yen and 18,000 yen.

The restaurant has been awarded one Michelin star every year since 2011, TBS television reported.