Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why I hate Masterchef Australia

Listening to: Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

Noted from my limited viewing forays into Masterchef Australia (mainly centred around Friday night fish and chips with the family at my parents place).

It's not the wholly artificial time and presentation constraints.

It's not the needlessly antagonistic selection and elimination process.

It's not the pretentious and preening prima donna judges.

It's not the implicit hypocrisy of telling a contestant how rubbish they are, then eliminating them, only to tell them how great they are as they leave the building.

It's the shocking hygiene.

I might not be a chef, but I am trained in microbiology, and worked as an industrial microbiological technician for 8 years, with a main emphasis on not contaminating things with greeblies you don't want, plus a bit of microbial food testing for good measure. Bad microbial hygiene practice I've seen so far includes:

-We never see anyone washing their hands, even if it is implied.

-A contestant mixing wet ingredients in a bowl with her hands while wearing rings on her fingers and bangles on her wrists. Jewellery like this was expressly banned in the fermentation plant I worked at because of a high contamination risk, never mind the potential for rings or stones to end up in the food. You can't clean or sanitise jewellery by washing your hands, plus the bits of your hands underneath the jewellery won't get washed anyway. If you want clean hands the rings have to come off or you wear a glove you can sanitise.

-A contestant with her hair tied in long unsecured plaits thrown forward over her shoulders, at a perfect height to graze the workbench as she leaned over her dishes. Excellent way to pick up a staph infection, or just hair in your food.

-A contestant serving and presenting food with a fresh open wound on one of his fingers. Enough said.

I don't care if it is normal practice in professional kitchens. To see this stuff (and for the supposed expert judges (as shown/edited) to not even appear to notice let alone call anyone on it) is just gross.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

eww. kind of makes me not want to know what goes on in the kitchens of restaurants I go to.