Woman dies after Michelin-starred meal

The woman reportedly dined on a dish with morel mushrooms although an official said she could not confirm whether the ingredient was the cause of the woman's illness

One woman has died and almost two dozen people have reportedly fallen ill after dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain.

She and her family were enjoying the special RiFF tasting menu comprised of Mediterranean dishes, including the potentially deadly meal of rice and morchellas. She died on Sunday morning after bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Eleven more people who ate at RiFF on Saturday, including Ms Fernandez Calvo's husband and son, suffered similar symptoms, officials said.

The morchella mushroom, a French delicacy, must be cooked properly before being consumed because it contains toxins.

However, their symptoms were said to be mild.

However, it will not be possible to confirm whether she died from poisoning or asphyxiation from particles of vomit in her lungs until a post-mortem examination is carried out.

RiFF restaurant in Valencia.

"The samples that have been collected over the last few days have been sent to the National Toxicology Institute to be analyzed", she said Wednesday.

Bernd H Knöller, the head chef and owner of Riff, offered his deepest condolences and said he was collaborating with the regional health authorities to determine exactly what had happened.

It's Michelin-starred and the chef has made a decision to close it during the investigation. The chef added that preliminary inspections had found that the restaurant had complied with the necessary health regulations.

"I have offered my complete cooperation to the Valencian health authority from the very start in order to clear up the facts, with the hope that we can establish the causes as soon as possible", said Knöller, who began his culinary career in the United Kingdom in the 1980s.

He said on Twitter that two dinners with Austrian chef Richard Rauch as part of the Valencia Culinary Festival scheduled for February 26 and 27 have been canceled.

Riff, which has one Michelin star, is described by the guide as offering "innovative cuisine ... based around the highest quality, seasonal, local products to create successful culinary combinations and interesting set menus".

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