Last Call: Chefs on cooking shows never wash their hands

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Chefs on cooking shows never wash their hands
Screenshot: KQED Food (YouTube)
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

Cooking-show hand-washing, or lack thereof

Flipping through all the Thanksgiving cooking specials that clog HGTV, Food Network, and morning shows this week, I noticed a detail I’d previously overlooked: The hosts never wash their hands. This realization hit me like a bolt of lightning as I watched The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond slather her raw turkey with butter using her bare hands before the camera cut to another shot where she’s sliding that roasting pan right in the oven. I know this stuff is edited for TV, obviously, but it just seems weird that the show wouldn’t get Palmolive or the Centers For Disease Control to sponsor a hand-washing segment. [Kate Bernot]


There is also a lack of hand-washing during GLOW’s bathroom conversations

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Chefs on cooking shows never wash their hands
Screenshot: GLOW ((Netflix))

It is funny that you mention this Kate, because I have noticed the same conundrum on one of my favorite shows, GLOW on Netflix. It is a show with many bathroom confrontations, and as people frequently bust out of the stall and start talking/yelling at people, I rarely see hands being washed. In episode one, Ruth (Alison Brie) accosts Mallory in the washroom; we see Mallory wipe herself, mess with her hair, and put on lipstick, but she never even runs the faucet afterward. We also don’t see hand-washing after Justine (Britt Baron) confronts Sam (Marc Maron) at the urinal, or when Jenny (Ellen Wong) runs out of the stall post-flush when she finds out it’s Sheila (Gayle Rankin)’s birthday. Once I started noticing the lack of hand-washing, I couldn’t stop noticing it. It’s not like “[washes hands]” is a thing that you want to put into a script at a dramatic moment. And I know the actors aren’t actually going to the bathroom, and this probably happens in a lot of other shows and movies. But still… ew. [Gwen Ihnat]

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.


I haven’t watched a cooking show in years, since I killed my cable subscription. But I remember that they used to emphasize hand washing and preventing cross contamination. Emeril, Alton Brown, and all the other early food network stars were frequent hand washers. Or glove wearers.

Wonder what changed.