Famous Italian chef Marco Sacco sentenced for serving spoiled clams at a wedding

The Italian chef Marco Sacco and the director of his restaurant, Raffaella Marchetti, have been sentenced to two months and 21 days in prison each after serving raw clams that caused poisoning to 53 attendees at a wedding banquet.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
10 March 2024 Sunday 17:39
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Famous Italian chef Marco Sacco sentenced for serving spoiled clams at a wedding

The Italian chef Marco Sacco and the director of his restaurant, Raffaella Marchetti, have been sentenced to two months and 21 days in prison each after serving raw clams that caused poisoning to 53 attendees at a wedding banquet.

The Court of Verbania (north) this Friday sentenced Sacco, who has three Michelin stars spread across different restaurants, and Marchetti to the same sentence, as well as to pay compensation amounting to 20,000 euros: 4,000 for each of the bride and groom and 250 for each intoxicated guest, according to local media.

The events occurred in July 2021 at the 'Piccolo Lago di Mergozzo', one of the most popular restaurants in Verbania, at the foot of the Alps, where, after a wedding banquet, fifty guests, including the spouses, felt symptoms of food poisoning, with nausea, vomiting and stomach pain after consuming risotto with borage and raw clams.

The husbands and guests reported what happened to the Carabinieri, who established, after the pertinent examinations, that the cause of these illnesses was norovirus poisoning, a germ responsible for the majority of cases of gastroenteritis due to food poisoning, contained in clams.

The chef's lawyers, who have not yet decided whether they will appeal the sentence, had requested acquittal, alleging that the clams had already arrived contaminated from origin, since one of the packages of this food that was not used also tested positive for norovirus.

In addition, Sacco assured in the trial that the clams could be consumed raw "as indicated on the supplier's label and as stated in the product's technical sheet," the same sources reported.

"They are clams that I have been using since 2015. Since I have had this supplier, I have served more than three thousand dishes like that," emphasized the chef, who in 2022 obtained the third Michelin star with the Piano 35 restaurant in Turin (northern Italy).