Although this story comes from across the Atlantic in England, a lesson can still be learned and applied here.

According to the Guardian UK, Heston Blumenthal, the world-renowned chef of the Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berskshire, has offered a personal apology  to the more than 500 people who took ill after dining at the restaurant in January and February, 2009. 

Earlier this month the Health Protection Agency reported that an outbreak of the norovirus was to blame and highlighted oysters as the probable cause.

Blumenthal did not comment on the findings of a 45-page report, which also claimed it had found evidence of poor practice at the restaurant.

Today Blumenthal said: "I am relieved to be able to finally offer my fullest apologies to all those who were affected by the outbreak at the Fat Duck. It was extremely frustrating to not be allowed to personally apologise to my guests until now.

"It was devastating to me and my whole team, as it was to many of our guests and I wish to invite them all to return to the Fat Duck at their convenience."

It may seem insignificant to hear an at-fault party say the simple word "sorry," but often that is precisely what clients injured in a foodborne illness outbreak tell me they want–and need–to hear.  Why is it so difficult for defendants faced with clear evidence of causing injury to others to say that simple word?  Elton John and Bernie Taupin were right, "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."