Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Top restaurant closed by illness

The Star Inn
The Star Inn at Harome has a string of awards for its food

A Michelin-starred restaurant in North Yorkshire has closed temporarily after more than 80 diners became ill.

Several staff at The Star Inn in Harome have also been taken ill with the vomiting bug norovirus, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said.

In a statement the HPA said despite the presence of the virus, "a common cause of illness has not been confirmed".

The Star Inn explained that it had decided to close for the time being "as a precautionary measure".

The HPA said it was working with Ryedale Council to investigate several cases of vomiting and diarrhoea connected to the restaurant.

Restaurant owner Jacquie Pern said a virus had hit the local area

The restaurant closed voluntarily on 2 November after more than 80 people developed symptoms after eating there between 18 and 28 October, the HPA said.

Jacquie Pern, owner of The Star Inn said: "We are taking this matter very seriously and are co-operating with the health authorities."

Norovirus causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and is also known as the winter vomiting virus.

The HPA said it could easily be transferred from person to person either through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, or through consuming contaminated food or water.

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