The nannying fussbuckets at Westminster City Council have the humble burger in their sights. Not, this time, the McDonald's or Burger King variety but the trendy, handmade gastropub burger:
...council officials are cracking down on the freedom to choose how your burger is done, warning restaurants not to offer them rare or even medium-rare.
A number of celebrity chefs are affected by the move, including Gordon Ramsay, whose Maze Grill restaurant sells a burger for £12, Angela Hartnett, whose York and Albany’s bar menu includes burgers, and the Soho House chain, run by Nick Jones, the husband of broadcaster Kirsty Young.
All face being asked at their next routine inspection how they offer their burgers after the decision by Westminster city council, which regulates food safety in more restaurants than any other local authority.
The decision is expected to be followed by other councils, but critics fear it could lead to questions over the safety of rare steaks and raw meat dishes such as steak tartare.
A quite unnecessary overreaction - but not a surprise from a profession that nearly destroyed the egg industry and still threatens unpasteurised artisan cheese. And why am I not surprised to see the man who made this prediction involved:
Two million Britons could die in the bird flu pandemic that experts warn is both imminent and inevitable, one of the country's leading authorities has told The Independent on Sunday.We are using the word of a man who predicted millions of deaths from BSE/CJD, who warned of disaster from bird flu, who said TV chefs were 'unhygeinic', who said our Christmas turkey was filled with deadly germs - a veritable Dr Doom of food safety.
Professor Hugh Pennington, the president of the Society for General Microbiology and professor emeritus of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, also criticised the the Government's "optimistic" attitude to a potentially devastating pandemic, likening it to official complacency over BSE a decade ago.