Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nanny Bans Burgers

I have to say I was gobsmacked when I read about Nanny's latest scheme to deprive us of freedom of choice.

This time Nanny's chums from Westminster council (a Tory council) have decreed that we are not to be allowed to order rare or medium rare burgers, lest we become ill from them.
The Evening Standard reports that after routine inspections by environmental health officers, Westminster council challenged the way Davy’s was serving its £13.95 burgers at one of its restaurants in central London. Davy’s has taken the case to the High Court, which experts say could set a legal precedent as to whether or not diners will be able to order meat rare.

A Davy’s spokesman said:
The burgers are produced from high quality ingredients and Davy’s contends that it has safe measures in place to serve rare or medium-rare burgers.”
James Armitage, the council’s food health and safety manager, said:
This is about making sure customers are eating meat that is not a threat to their health. It is possible to produce burgers that can be eaten undercooked, but strict controls are essential.

We have enlisted the UK’s top expert on E. coli, Prof Hugh Pennington, to get this matter resolved and he has outlined that rare minced meat that is not correctly cooked and prepared can kill.”
"Ironically" the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has stated that there are no rules banning the sale of raw or rare meat by restaurants or caterers.

Tony Lewis, of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said: the case would have “nationwide implications”.
This ban is of course bollocks, and is another example of a local council exceeding their remit and imposing their prejudices on all and sundry.

Having banned rare burgers, the next step is to ban steak tartare.

I have eaten steak tartare many times (excellent with Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and a raw egg..raw eggs are also frowned upon by Nanny!), and have yet to become remotely ill from it.

This is a typical council overreaction.

Councils are the enemies of the people!

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  1. The trouble is, and I'm not defending nanny in any way here, there is a big difference between rare burgers and rare steak.
    Bacteria lives on the surface of meat. If you cook a steak rare, as long as you seal all of the surface, the bacteria is killed.
    When meat is minced and formed into a burger the bacteria on the surface is mingled throughout the entire thing. The only way to kill all the bacteria is to cook it all the way through.

    Having said all that, a rare burger does not automatically equal food poisoning and it's not up to nanny to decide what we can put in our bodies anyway.

    1. Steak tartare is raw mince....they will ban that too if they follow through on this.

    2. Hmm.. Then I've just learned something I never knew. I can't say I find the thought of that appetising though.

      Like I said though, none of nannys concern. I won't eat that because I don't fancy it, but if nanny were to ban it I would suddenly want to give it a try.

      I have all my slabs of red meat cooked rare but I like burgers cooked through. Sorry to have to say this while Tonk is listening but I also enjoy an occasional McBurger :-)

  2. Tonk.3:15 PM

    If only Nanny hadn't given most of her real powers and responsibilities to Brussels....Had she not, she would not feel the need to poke her bloody nose into things that shouldn't, in an adult world, concern her.

    I take Bucko's point but, if the meat is good quality, prime cuts then there is little to worry about.

    I have always eaten my steak blue: something Nanny hates.

    Note to James.....Blue steak or rare steak is not under is cooked the way I like it. You need to replace the phrase "under cooked meats/food" with " Foods that are cooked in a way I don't approve off." That would be more honest.

    I suspect that the vast majority of us would not eat an ordinary fast food burger that was still raw or cold because one never knows what goes into it: indeed, I wouldn't insult my body by putting a fast food burger or frozen burger into my body!

    I too like steak Tartare but the acid I use to "cook" it is lemon juice. The acid kills off the bacteria and again, I suspect no one that appreciates food would accept a steak tartare made from anything other than best fresh fillet steak.

    I like my lamb pink in the middle because, as far as I am concerned, if a lamb has given up its life to feed me, I want to do it justice and not over cook it!
    I like my Venison bloody in fact, about the only meats I cook so that no blood can be seen are chicken and turkey.

    If only our education system would cease to see itself as a PC socialist indoctrination system, perhaps then, the people today would still have the ability to think for themselves and exercise some commonsense.

    Mind your own business nanny and stop trying to expand your role in order to justify your continued existence.

  3. Anonymous6:31 PM

    As if the constant advise that we get on what to eat is not enough, these bastards now want to make it illegal to serve food that is not cooked in a way that they want.

    Coming from a family of restaurateurs, I was always told that anyone that ordered a steak ‘well done’ really deserves everything that they get.

    There are plenty of laws and safeguards in place to protect the public from food poisoning, but this move really oversteps the mark.

    Basic ‘one size fits all’ food preparation states that food should be served either very hot or very cold as anything in between can be dangerous; Westminster council, because they know no better, want to adhere to this doctrine without taking into account modern and international cuisine and tastes.

    What next? Sushi bars closing and big brother looking over chef’s shoulders to ensure that all food is prepared in a way that nanny approves of?

  4. Anonymous9:40 PM

    What happened to the disclaimer policy London restaurants had in the 1990s about rare beef?

    When the last 'panic' on this occurred, you used to have to sign a disclaimer saying you would not sue the restaurant if you ordered a rare burger or steak and got ill afterward. That was supposed to have been sufficient. I don't know that every restaurant carried out the policy; I never had to 'sign off', as it were, on rare meat.

    Anyway, the French always eat their beef medium rare or blue, especially in burgers.

    Steak tartare is superb -- however, the steak must be really fresh the day it is made. My better half and I normally let ours rest afterward with all the seasonings (minus salt and covered tightly) for a day in the fridge. The pepper and Worcester sauce we use preserve the meat.

    Ken, I very much enjoy your blog (have been lurking for the past several years) but more on the smoking ban and the imminent minimum pricing would be welcome. Also perhaps some posts dedicated to the overall control freakery from governments which can't seem to manage the bigger picture (e.g. economy) which causes them to go after individual 'behaviours'.

    That said, all best wishes and thanks for the fine writing!


  5. "We have enlisted the UK’s top expert on E. coli, Prof Hugh Pennington..."
    I don't suppose he came cheap.