Reality cooking shows could be teaching us dirty kitchen habits. Cooking shows don’t always use proper food safely techniques and often show behaviors that could lead to cross-contamination. A 2018 study done in Germany tested two groups of people, they had them make chicken salad with homemade mayonnaise based on a cooking video — one video showed a chef that followed recommended hygiene measures and the other video showed a cook with poor hygiene. They found that people who watched the video of the cook with good hygiene followed the recommended measures more often when they were cooking the dish themselves.
A similar study done in 2016 showed offenses in cooking shows include handling raw meat without washing hands, not cleaning the boards after cutting meat and not giving appropriate indicators for how well the meat is cooked. The study had reviewers watch 30 cooking shows featuring 24 different chefs, which included Ina Garten, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Guy Fieri.
The study found that all but three of the chefs where shown handling meat without washing their hands at least once during an episode and only a few cleaned their boards after cutting raw meat. Though it’s possible the chefs are taking the right precautions off camera, it’s important to remember the health precautions that go along with preparing food.