You can mash potatoes with a tennis racket, but probably shouldn't

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Possibly but probably not inspired by the 1993 Johnny Depp film “Benny & Joon,” a London cafe recently decided to mash potatoes with a tennis racket—and it ended up costing the owners more than $200,000.

Daily Mail reports that the owners of Doce Bakers and Sweet Mahal, bakeries that share a kitchen in Edmonton, north London, were fined after inspectors found “a filthy, potato-covered tennis racket in a bowl of boiled spuds.”

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Sadly, the racket wasn’t the only problem.

“Enfield Council found the Edmonton premises that were used jointly to manufacture desserts, sweets, bakery goods and samosas to have fallen far short of acceptable standards,” Enfield Council said in a news release. “An ongoing pest infestation problem was discovered, which posed a real risk of food poisoning and illness to the public. Floors and equipment were found to be filthy...”

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The racket fiasco happened after a string of failed inspections for the businesses that started in January of 2016, according to the Enfield Council. Owners were finally forced to pay £152,823.23 (or $202,588 U.S. dollars) during a late October sentencing hearing.

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“We take a dim view of any food outlets whose premises aren’t kept in an hygienic state for the manufacture of food,” the Council said. “Our residents have the right to expect the food they buy to be safe to eat.”

Though inspectors said the racket in this case was “filthy,” the strings of a tennis racket, if new, should be relatively safe to mash potatoes with if you want to make a complicated ordeal out of mashing potatoes.

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Racket strings are typically made of either nylon or polyester, which are chemically treated. But ingesting small amounts of such fibers shouldn’t be harmful as long as you don’t make a habit of it.