Matthew Steeples suggests Westminster City Council have no place meddling with how the humble burger is cooked
In the last week both the Evening Standard and BigHospitality.co.uk revealed that Westminster City Council had served notice on a restaurant named Davy’s for “undercooking” burgers. Current Food Standards Agency guidelines state that burger meat should be cooked at 70°C for two minutes and it is suggested that Davy’s have failed to adhere to this.
A spokesman for Davy’s told the Evening Standard:
“[Our] 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.”
John Cadieux of Burger & Lobster went further in his comment:
“If you follow the guidelines to the letter then you’re going to destroy the burger industry. Not only that but you’re opening a Pandora’s box, because where do you finish? Steak tartare, runny eggs … the list is endless.”
If this ruling is maintained, a precedent will be set and those who enjoy rare and medium-rare burgers will find that their pleasure will be taken away. The busybodies of Westminster Council and their passion for cremating meat must be stopped.
I wish the Davy’s burger crusaders all the very best when they appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in May 2013.
Mr & Mrs Jobsworth are at it again. When will they ever stop and let us live our lives without hindrance. Obviously they’ve been having a quiet Xmas period in the environmental health dept. at W.C.C. We owned probably the third restaurant in the UK to serve real hamburgers Foxtrot Oscar, after the Playboy Club in Park Lane, and The Great American Disaster in Fulham Road, (also run & owned by Playboy people), which we opened in 1980. For more than 25 years we were serving our iconic burgers unimpeded by the health authorities, without any issues whatsoever. I’ve never heard such knee-jerking scaremongering drivel from an organisation which attempted to shut down the West End with insane parking plans last year. God help us all and send them back to the Gulag for retraining.
Whenever it is the case that you are asked how you would like your burger cooked, why not allow the customer to choose? There are plenty of burger joints that pre-cook and wrap burgers before even ordering and in those chains I wouldn’t dream of asking for a rare burger, there are however a profusion of, shall we say gourmet burger restaurants that use a quality of beef that is far above the standard of its fellow burger bars. I see no reason therefore as to why meat should not be cooked to the customers liking. They do have the advantage of sending it back to the kitchen if it is not exactly to their liking.
It would seem that Westminster council, although with people’s interests at heart are making a case for total control on people’s eating habits, which is never a good thing. And as stated, why not a total ban on steak tartar?
Ridiculous. If I ask for it pink and I do actually get ill. I will take full responsibility for that. Having spoken to my friend last night it occurred to me that this just gives restaurants an excuse to lower their food hygiene levels. Not ideal.
Simon – be sure that hygiene standards are not affected by how long an item is cooked, but rather whether the chef washed his hands when he finished using the loo………