A TOTAL of 44 people were left with food poisoning in Valencia after sampling dishes that had been prepared during an edition of the Spanish version of MasterChef. 

The episode of the hit show, which is broadcast on state channel La 1, took place at the Mediterranean city’s Oceanografic oceanarium, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the aquarium complex. 

The contestants were given the challenge of preparing a menu for the 120 staff who work there, with ingredients that included seafood such as oysters and clams, as well as sea bass. 

The alarm was raised about the food poisoning by one of the members of staff, according to a report in Spanish daily El Pais. With the user name Irene, she denounced on Twitter the fact that she and her colleagues were left with serious cases of gastroenteritis by the food. 

According to her messages, she had to be given an injection at the emergency room to stop her vomiting, and she claimed she lost five kilos in three days. 

‘Thank you MasterChef for the worst gastronomic experience I’ve ever had in my life,’ she added. 

She claimed that more than 70 people were left sick, but sources from the regional health department in Valencia confirmed to El Pais that the number was actually 44. 

Shine Iberia, the producer of the program, released a statement on Monday night admitting that the reports were true but stressed that nothing like this had happened in the 11 years that the program has been broadcast in Spain. 

The case will now be passed on to the health department in Madrid, which is where the production company is based. 

The incident comes just a few weeks after a woman who took part in a massive competition to participate in this series of the program denounced the fact that the whole event was a sham and that the winners had been pre-selected. 

She claimed in a TikTok video that the casting, which took place over a long day in the cold outside the Palacio Real in Madrid, was a waste of time for the thousands of people who turned up to take part and that they were given no information about what was happening.

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