A London bakery thought a little too far out of the box when they used a tennis racket to mash potatoes, and their creative kitchen hack cost them a fine of over $200,000 for failing to meet hygiene standards.
According to The Daily Mail, the Doce Bakers and Sweet Mahal shared a cooking site. The place was used to prepare desserts, sweets, baked goods, and samosas, and council investigators say the food preparation areas were filthy.
When council officers visited the North London bakeries visited last January, they found an ongoing pest problem, along with dirty floors and cooking equipment. When they visited again in July to see if the place had cleaned up its act, somehow they found things had gotten even worse. Inspectors were particularly astonished to find a tennis racket covered in potatoes, sticking out of a large bowl of boiled potatoes.
Investigators say staff were using the tennis racket to make mashed potatoes. Tennis rackets are not even a particularly effective way of mashing potatoes. Investigators guess that bakery staff were either pushing the potatoes through the racket strings or using the tennis racket as a big grater and grating the potatoes into the bowl. Still, a potato masher seems like it would have been much more convenient.
There was also a pest problem, and bags of garbage were piled up outside.
Between the tennis racket and the host of other health and hygiene violations, the Enfield Council fined the directors of the two bakeries £152,823, or $201,970. Maybe it's time they looked into the basic rules everybody needs to know to practice food safety.