Should we expect equally high standards of hygiene in restaurants, domestic kitchens and on TV cookery shows?
Are hygiene standards in food programmes getting worse? When it comes to basic cleanliness in the kitchen, we’d be better looking away from the TV screens. Over recent weeks, MasterChef has been pushing contestants through their “toughest challenge yet” (again), which seems to have led to competition-induced amnesia when it comes to basic standards.
“Former Miss Swansea” Alice has been sporting a shock of bright red nail polish before she rustles up the goods. She’s taken some flak from viewers online for kneading dough with her chipped nails, with suspicions that some of the polish made it into her miniature lasagnes. Compulsive hair grabber Polly has attracted ire for her flyaway strands (she should take a cue from bandana-wearing Jackie), and then there are the men, arguably the clammier end of the spectrum, who persist in adding many beads of sweat to their pan-fried cuisines. Not to mention Tom, who consistently creates an epic mess, and this week drew quite the dressing down from John who offered a disparaging shake of the head towards the floured floor at his feet.
This is the kind of behaviour we would more commonly associate with the string of cooks on Come Dine With Me, whose contestants are often to be found scraping crème brûlée off the lino and leaving sushi unguarded to be snacked on by their cat.