Celebrity chefs are turning viewers into dirty cooks, study finds

21st of February 2018
Celebrity chefs are turning viewers into dirty cooks, study finds

Viewers of TV cooking shows may be picking up bad habits from celebrity chefs, a study has found.

Researchers in Germany analysed 100 episodes of popular cooking shows to see whether any hygiene rules were being broken.

"The results showed that important hygiene measures are often neglected in cooking shows, with one error being observed every 50 seconds on average," said Professor Andreas Hensel, who carried out the study for the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.

"If you always wash your hands thoroughly after touching eggs, raw vegetables or meat and if you clean chopping boards after every working step, you can protect yourself and others from foodborne diseases."

Wiping dirty hands on tea towels and reusing chopping boards without first cleaning them were two of the most common errors noted on TV. The researchers then divided participants into two groups and showed each of them a cooking video - one where the chef followed good hygiene protocol and the other where hygiene was compromised.

Each group was then asked to make a chicken salad with home-made mayonnaise based on the cooking video they had seen. Members of the group following the first video's recipe were found to comply with hygiene recommendations more frequently than the second which had been set the poorer example.

"The results show that kitchen hygiene presented in cooking shows may have an influence on the hygiene behaviour of viewers," said Hensel. "TV cooking shows can therefore take on a role model function by sharpening awareness of hygiene instead of neglecting it."



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