Chef cooked for the Queen on her 80th birthday and his withering judgments on aspiring chefs have made him the star of the BBC’s Great British Menu series.
It has been only a week since I have been back from London, and it is good to see the Westminster Council taking on a Celebrity Chef behaving badly. The Daily Mail reports that Marcus Wareing scored just one out of five for kitchen hygiene by failing a routine inspection. Inspectors who visited the restaurant on June 5 cited ‘cross-contamination risks’ after seeing a vacuum-packing machine in the kitchen being used for both raw and cooked foods. The report said such equipment ‘cannot be effectively cleaned and disinfected in between use to eliminate the risks associated with pathogens such as E. coli.’ Inspectors also noted the presence of ‘fruit flies in the ground kitchen’ and recommended management ‘seek the services of a qualified pest control technician,’ as well as a lack of anti-bacterial soap, and staff washing their hands without soap. Embarrassingly, inspectors noted that at the time of their visit ‘raw fish was stored above cooked crab in the fish fridge,’ one of the most basic health risks catering students are warned to avoid. The council inspectors also said it ‘was very disappointing to note that the record-keeping had ceased since April 2013.’
And the Chef’s response: ‘Food safety, and the health of my team and customers, is not something I would knowingly jeopardize.’
Over at Barfblog, Dr. Powell points to a few prior outbreaks in the UK that Marcus Wareing should have noticed:
In 1996, 23 people died in an E. coli O157 outbreak when Scotland’s former butcher-of-the-year used the same knives on raw and cooked beef.
In 2005, a five-year-old child died and 160 sickened after a butcher used the same vacuum packaging machine on raw and cooked beef.
I am glad that was one restaurant I missed in London.