Episode 6 Food Fighters


Episode 6

Series presented by chef Simon Rimmer, following the army of people protecting Britain's food. At Gatwick Airport, he meets the canine food fighter detecting banned goods.


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Transcript


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We're a nation of food lovers and today, there's more choice than ever.

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Whether you're eating in or taking away, there's always the chance that something can go wrong.

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So it's a good job there's a whole army of people working hard to keep us safe.

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They're the Food Fighters.

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I'm with Cody, Gatwick Airport's four-legged Food Fighter.

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The safety of school dinners...

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-Beef chilli. Enjoy that.

-..comes under the spotlight.

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For young children to get food poisoning is a disaster for us.

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And is "grease" really the word for these caffs?

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I've got a lot of confidence in the way that he's working.

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He takes a lot of pride in the cleaning, which gives you confidence again in how it's operating.

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The greasy spoon cafe is part of the British culinary landscape

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and each and every one is subject to the same level of inspection as a Michelin-starred restaurant.

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So can a greasy spoon really be squeaky-clean?

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We've been following environmental health officers up and down the country to find out.

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A full English in a greasy spoon.

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Whether it's to set you up for the day or a way of overcoming the after-effects of a big night out,

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millions of people eat them every year.

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Here in Westminster, Central London, Caffe Pronto is popular

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amongst blue-collar and white-collar workers alike.

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While this sort of food might put a few pounds on you, Food Fighter Sarah Quinn makes a surprise visit

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to make sure the punters have nothing else to worry about.

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Good morning. Hello, my name's Sarah. I'm from Environmental Health.

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-I'm just here for a routine food inspection.

-I'm busy at the moment.

-That's all right.

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I'm going to do the inspection because I'm here.

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The last thing owner Riyadh Haziq wants is a grilling while he's frying,

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but Sarah has a job to do as well.

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I tell you what...

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-Riyadh, wasn't it?

-Yeah.

-Have you got any of your paperwork? Do you want me to have a look at that?

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-I have to go...

-I was trying to think of something I can do while I was out of your hair a little bit.

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Even greasy spoons need paperwork.

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Good. This is showing that Pest Control have been around - no signs of any mice.

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They've said "good standard of housekeeping". Brilliant.

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The size of Caffe Pronto means there's hardly any storage space,

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so new stock is delivered every day.

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It's nice to see somewhere that's busy.

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This eliminates many problems. Nothing can be left in cupboards and fridges for too long.

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-Any other freezers, fridges sitting around?

-No.

-Hence why you've got to get deliveries every day.

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As well as being a dab hand at cooking...

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Again I like to see it's got "kitchen", not "bathroom".

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..Riyadh's clearly on top of the cleaning.

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-It looks pretty clean for the size of the place that you've got.

-We are trying to maintain things.

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So far, he's proving to be an all-round good egg.

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I've got a lot of confidence in the way that he's working.

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He takes a lot of pride in the cleaning, which gives you confidence again in how it's operating.

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Now Sarah turns her attention to the most important issue - the grub.

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I'm going to get my temperature probe and take some temperatures of your sandwich fillings.

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-What time do you make those?

-In the morning.

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Will Riyadh's caff continue this impressive streak?

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From the heart of the capital to a granite quarry in Leicestershire.

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Marie's is a caff with a rock solid reputation.

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Owner Marie Collins' cooking is a big hit with the punters.

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I eat here every day. I wouldn't come in if I didn't like the food.

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But how is the hygiene?

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It scored four out of five on its last inspection.

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Now Food Fighter Laura Cowlishaw is here to check it is still hitting a high standard.

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Hiya, it's Laura Cowlishaw from Environmental Health.

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And Laura is immediately impressed.

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I only keep bacon in this one. I keep everything separate, you see.

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-That is fantastic. So you've got no more meat in this fridge?

-No.

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That's kept separately in there.

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That is really good practice, having separate storage facilities.

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In this set-up, I'm quite surprised cos it's small. That's really good.

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This set-up means there's no chance of any bugs from raw meat finding their way to other food.

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Marie applies the same safety to the prep areas.

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-Everything this side is for... if I'm cooking on to there.

-All the raw stuff?

-Yeah.

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-Everything that side is for hot stuff when it's already cooked.

-OK.

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That's fantastic. You know, you don't very often see that.

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People normally just have one kind of spatula and one kind of scoop

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and tend to use the same one for raw and cooked. She's identified that they're separate. That's very good.

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Marie clearly knows her onions.

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Just some minor cleaning issues cost her top marks last time.

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-Just cleaning then. When do you tend to do the cleaning?

-All day...

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One potential pitfall - there's no hot running water available here on this quarry site,

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vital for killing bacteria.

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-Is there no way they can...?

-I've asked them, but they can't find a way to do it with the electrics.

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Could this pour cold water on Marie's chances of a five-star performance?

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150 miles away, Westcliff-on-Sea, Southend.

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Laura's Essex colleague Steve Ramm is visiting another greasy spoon - Dino's Cafe.

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Owner Richard Bonnett is very much hands-on.

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But does he wash them enough?

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-You're the boss?

-Yeah.

-Steve Ramm from Southend Borough Council doing a routine hygiene inspection.

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After a look at the paperwork, who says men don't like talking fashion?

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-What sort of clothing do you normally use?

-This and an apron.

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-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-Right, OK, so you've got an apron.

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And the legal requirement is clean, protective clothing.

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-It doesn't have to be an apron, but an apron is a very good idea, so that's pretty clean.

-Yeah.

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Steve now dons his own sparkling whites to inspect the kitchen.

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He aims his laser to check the fridge temperatures. They should be between 5 and 8 degrees Celsius.

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I'm getting temperatures here of 8 and a bit higher than 8 in some places.

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The temperature, as you know, ought to be 8 or below.

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-Yeah.

-It could do with perhaps being a tiny bit lower.

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Steve suggests that food should be clearly date-coded.

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-The things in the fridge, maybe you need a little date sticker or something.

-Yeah.

-That kind of thing.

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Like Marie's, this is a small area,

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but while Marie separates the raw meat from the ready-to-eat,

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here there's a risk of cross-contamination between the foodstuffs.

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So what I'm going to ask you to do is to give a bit more thought to this designated clean area

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where things like your raw meat never go and only people with clean hands and what have you will go.

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The Food Standards Agency understand the difficulties of a small business,

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-but they want the general principles to be followed through.

-Absolutely.

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Here in Southend, Steve still has a few more issues to address.

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Richard is hoping he won't get panned.

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-Later, different dinners, same risks.

-That's you, love. Thank you.

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Food Fighters goes back to school.

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I'm putting that into my fridge and if there's any infestation... It could be a mouse or anything.

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This is Gatwick Airport Arrivals. Every year, up to 30 million people pass through its terminals.

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As well as holiday treats, often passengers have illegal foodstuffs they can't bring in.

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Luckily, there's a Food Fighter based here who's ready to sniff out illegal goods

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and stop them coming into our country.

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Hi, my name's Liz Hogben. This is my dog Cody. We're here to stop illegal foods coming into the country.

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"James Bond" THEME MUSIC

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'Special Agent Cody's mission is simple - to sniff out banned meats and cheeses.

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'It's a full-time job because 24 hours a day, seven days a week,

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'travellers touch down here from all over the world.

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'And now a plane full of passengers has just flown in from the Ukraine.

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'Cody's nose is called into action.'

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-So the flight has just come in from...

-Kiev.

-Kiev.

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Why does that give you a particular interest from a food point of view?

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We get a lot of passengers bringing in meat and cheese from Kiev.

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Because it's come from outside of Europe, it's not covered by the European guidelines.

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We need to make sure that meat doesn't come through the country

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to protect us from foot-and-mouth and diseases like that.

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'And it's clear Cody is never off-duty.'

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He always searches whatever is nearest him.

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Sometimes I work him on the belts and do the bags with no passengers around

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and sometimes we do the passengers as they walk past us.

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Does the vast majority of stuff that Cody finds in terms of food

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come more from ignorance than an attempt to smuggle something?

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I think it's a bit of both. They know they're not allowed to have it,

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but they think they might get away with it.

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'First up, the luggage carousel.'

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Good boy.

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'Because despite all the warning signs, people still try to smuggle food into our country.'

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I suppose the important thing about this is, you don't confiscate things to be a killjoy.

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This puts huge danger in the domestic food chain.

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Yeah. People probably look at it and think, "It's just a bit of cheese, a bit of sausage," and almost laugh.

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But the food itself could potentially be very, very dangerous.

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'The passengers have started to pick up their bags

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'and the dog with the golden nose springs into action.

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'You'll know if he sniffs something suspicious when he sits down in front of a case

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'and looks up at Liz just like that.'

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-Do you have any food in your bag at all?

-Yeah.

-What food do you have on you?

-Meat.

-You have meat in there.

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'Sure enough, Cody was bob-on.'

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Just go with this officer for me. Thank you.

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'This traveller has a selection of sausages and it's illegal to bring them into the UK.'

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It would seem that's not a huge amount of foodstuffs coming into the country, but it is.

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It's the implications of food that we don't know how it's been prepared, where it's come from.

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We don't know the history of it. That is where the danger lies. That's why it has to be confiscated.

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'And it's the unknown that's the problem.

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'UK Border Agency officers have to protect our food chain.'

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We still don't know if this was professionally done by a factory or in a normal butcher's shop.

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-Yeah.

-We don't know where the actual meat has come from.

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'The travellers don't get fined, but the meat is incinerated.

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'But no time to rest for Cody. He's picked up another suspect scent.'

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This passenger here, Cody indicated that there was food in the bag,

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but when I asked the passenger, he was quite sure that there wasn't.

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He said he packed it himself and he was sure there wasn't food in there,

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but in this scenario, we try and get somebody to look at the bag, just to check.

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'Ah! That looks like food to me.'

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What's the meat? Raw pork?

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'Quite a lot of food.'

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-That's chicken.

-This one's chicken?

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'This passenger seems to have forgotten that he packed four and a half kilos of meat.

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'But Cody has a nose for this kind of thing.

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'There'll be no chicken from Kiev tonight.'

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It might well be that there's nothing wrong with them at all,

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but we don't know where they've come from, the manufacturing process,

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so as a result, they can't be brought into the UK and it's Cody's work that has made that happen.

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This gentleman loses his goods. He's not looking very happy, though, is he?

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'The passengers have now gone through the Arrivals Hall,

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'but Cody's licence to sniff is in demand.'

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-We've seen the terminal. Where are we now, Liz?

-Just over in the freight centre of the airport.

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-We'll go and look at the post from the Kiev flight.

-And see what's come in from that?

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There might be some food in the personal post.

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'If someone has popped a piece of pork in the post, Cody will definitely find it.'

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What's your thoughts? Anything that seems to be standing out for him?

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Not really at the moment, no.

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'After a good sniff-about, Cody gives the parcels the paws-up.'

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I'm slightly disappointed.

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I was convinced that Cody would find something that he wanted us to open up, but not a sausage.

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'Cody has now completed stage two of his mission

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'and we can be satisfied that this cargo is safe to enter the UK.

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'Coming up, the secret to Cody's success...'

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-So he just comes off the lead and goes for it?

-Yeah, that's the idea.

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'I'll put him to the test.'

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Good luck, Cody. Moment of truth, mate.

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When it comes to school dinners, soggy semolina and lumpy custard are a thing of the past.

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The pressure is now on to cook healthy meals,

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but as with any cooking, there are risks and there's lots at stake.

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Just one mistake and you could poison hundreds of children.

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This is the Il Cenacolo restaurant,

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formerly known as the canteen of Corpus Christi Catholic College in Preston.

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This place is a prime example of the school dinners revolution.

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And in 2010, head chef Chris Callagher won the award for Britain's Best School Dinners.

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-All right, girls? Are you on veggie chilli or beef chilli?

-Beef.

-Beef chilli. Lovely, that. Enjoy that.

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Every day, Chris's team serve dinner to 800 pupils and their teachers.

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That's hard enough, but some days are even tougher.

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Today, Chris has to deal with two separate sittings of dinner because of exams.

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What's more, a Food Fighter is also on his way to inspect the kitchens.

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So will Chris just bang on a few turkey twizzlers to make things easy?

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Right, the plan for today is we're going to do some Cajun-spiced loin of pork and a chilli con carne.

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We'll do the chilli with savoury rice and the pork is with broccoli cheese and fondant potatoes.

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That'll be a "no" to the turkey twizzlers then.

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And now, like any chef, Chris needs to check out his ingredients.

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-Hiya, Tony.

-Hiya, Chris. How are you?

-All right. I'll open this door.

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It's 8am and the morning delivery has just arrived.

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They look fantastic. Aren't they?

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But this is not just about checking quality.

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All the food you see here must be safe for the schoolkids to eat.

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So I just fill in the book here. It just gives you a guide to everything acceptable in colour.

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There's no mould or rotting. I'm putting that into my fridge.

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If there's any infestation... There could be excessive dirt.

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There could be a mouse in a box or whatever. There could be anything.

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I'm putting that in the fridge and serving that to the children,

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so I've got to make sure it's right. Job done.

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But all Chris's produce is from trusted suppliers and once ticked off in his textbook,

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it's off to his super-sized fridges.

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We're very lucky to have a nice, large, walk-in fridge.

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We've got curtains on the front of here.

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You wouldn't believe how much temperature that keeps in when you open the door.

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If you don't have those on, you'll lose four or five degrees.

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They are a bit of a pain coming in and out, but they're really good.

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And in here, everything has a place.

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We have the raw meat stored down here below,

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some fresh vegetables up here.

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The bread's on the other side. We've got some grated cheese and dairy there.

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The majority of stuff is my vegetables.

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The food has passed and is stored safely. Time to get cooking.

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But making dinners from fresh ingredients like raw meat is risky.

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We've got the mince there for the chilli con carne later

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and this is the lovely loin of pork.

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As you can see, it's quite a thick piece, that.

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Pork is a worry. It can hide a horrid little parasite called roundworm

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and a beastly bacterium that causes gastro-enteritis.

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It's vital hands are washed before and after touching it to get rid of these food poisoning nasties.

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Luckily, however, this chef has a battle plan.

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And we're using the sink for raw prep only.

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If I was here prepping some raw meat and then Karen came along and started to wash lettuce in the same sink,

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it's just a recipe for disaster.

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So yeah, we just keep it separate. That's ready for going in the oven.

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Big joints of meat like this need a lot of cooking to kill off the bacteria.

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So it's into the ovens while Chris busies himself with the rest of his menu.

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Two hours later and a vital safety test.

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Right, I'm just going to check the loin of pork that's in the oven now.

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I'm just a bit concerned. I put it in quite early because of the thickness of the joint.

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So I've got my thermostat.

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We want it to be 75 or over.

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OK, we're way off with that piece there.

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Back in the oven for this meat because it must be cooked for longer to keep the kids safe.

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The last thing anybody wants is anybody to get ill from what you're cooking.

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There's a possibility of 600, 700 children coming through here today.

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It only needs a mistake on one or two items...

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For young children to be getting food poisoning is a disaster for us.

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As time ticks down, Chris's blood pressure rises.

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The children are coming in in about 10 minutes, so we're all gearing up ready for service.

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But the pork is now safe to carve and the rest of the food is brought out to be served.

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Is everything out now?

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Chris and his team are in a real hurry and this is when mistakes could be made.

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I'll have to put them back in again.

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The paninis are not hot enough, so there could still be bacteria lurking inside.

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Luckily, though, the safety systems here are spot on.

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And the kids are chuffed to bits with their dinner time.

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# Food, glorious food... #

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Right, that's you, love.

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I like everything they cook, really.

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# Food, glorious food... #

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That's top marks from the pupils, then, but this afternoon Chris and his team face a difficult exam.

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We need everything cooled down as quickly as possible. We do not want to save the rice. That can go.

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-# Oh, food!

-Wonderful food!

-Marvellous food!

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-# Fabulous food!

-Beautiful food!

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# Glorious food! #

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The Food Fighter is here.

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Later: after a busy service,

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will Chris's kitchen make the grade?

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We've got an Environmental health inspection. A little nervous.

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MUSIC: James Bond Theme

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Back here at Gatwick, it's time to discover why Cody's skills of detection aren't to be sniffed at.

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'Special Agent Cody works for the UK Border Agency.

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'He tracks down illegal foods, especially meat and cheese.

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'But just how is a canine food fighter trained?'

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-How does it work, Liz?

-It's quite straightforward, really.

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A number of jars with food in it. We hope he finds the right things.

0:23:590:24:04

If he indicates a ham sandwich, he's done the right thing with the ham, but not the bread.

0:24:040:24:09

So you're trying to eliminate the cross smells and flavours?

0:24:090:24:14

-You want the ham, not the bread.

-Yes.

-OK, so what have we got in the jars?

0:24:140:24:20

We have various spices, we've got some chocolate and some cod fish and crayfish.

0:24:200:24:25

And mixed in is one jar with a bit of sausage in and one with cheese.

0:24:250:24:30

Right then, Cody, your mission, should you choose to accept it,

0:24:320:24:36

pick out the jars containing meat and cheese.

0:24:360:24:41

Marked X for those of us who have to rely on sight rather than smell.

0:24:420:24:46

-So basically he comes off the lead and goes for it?

-That's the idea.

0:24:490:24:53

-Let's see if it works.

-Good luck, Cody. Moment of truth, mate.

0:24:530:24:58

Good boy!

0:25:100:25:12

Good boy!

0:25:180:25:19

He was fantastic. Straight to the two with the Xs on.

0:25:190:25:24

But just to check that it was not beginner's luck, I am now going to move the jars around

0:25:240:25:30

so the Xs are in different positions. Will he succeed now?

0:25:300:25:34

Cody gets a treat every time he does well. I do hope he's not cheating here.

0:25:370:25:43

All right, Cody, I've made it more difficult for you. On your way.

0:25:430:25:48

-Good boy!

-Straight on it.

0:25:540:25:57

'This is just a small part of Cody's training.'

0:25:590:26:03

He's got some great skills. Clever, clever boy.

0:26:030:26:07

'He's clearly happy in the service of his country, but no time to rest.

0:26:070:26:13

'Over on the runway, planes are landing left, right and centre.

0:26:130:26:17

'A flight from Albania has just taxied in.

0:26:170:26:21

'Cody is back on duty.

0:26:210:26:24

-'Within minutes, this dog detective has a suspect.'

-Hello. Got any food in your bag?

0:26:240:26:29

What's that, then, if that's not meat? What's that?

0:26:310:26:35

-Exactly. That's meat, OK? That's not allowed.

-But it's already made.

-It's still meat. Not allowed.

0:26:350:26:43

-Not from Albania.

-'Albania's not in the EU, so this food will not be coming through.'

0:26:430:26:49

Is this egg? Egg in here?

0:26:500:26:53

-Not egg.

-What's that? Cheese?

0:26:530:26:56

-Cheese.

-That's not allowed either.

0:26:560:26:59

'It's a pity, but the rules are clear.

0:26:590:27:04

'Suddenly, things get busy.

0:27:040:27:06

'Cody's picking up the scent all over the place.'

0:27:060:27:10

-Sir, do you have any food in your bag?

-Yes.

-What?

-I have some beef.

0:27:100:27:15

-Is this cheese or butter?

-Cheese.

0:27:150:27:19

-What do they have?

-It's sausage.

-Sausage.

0:27:190:27:23

You're not actually allowed to bring meat or cheese into the country.

0:27:230:27:29

Suddenly it's gone absolutely crazy.

0:27:290:27:31

At the start, there wasn't much. All of a sudden, all of the booths are full of people.

0:27:310:27:38

And all the people you see here are waiting to have their bags inspected because Cody's picked up

0:27:380:27:44

traces of either meat or of cheese. Bonkers.

0:27:440:27:48

'Did anyone on the plane NOT pack meat or cheese?!

0:27:480:27:53

'I hope Cody's on commission. He'll never have to work again!'

0:27:530:27:57

It may seem a little harsh what's going on here. Pretty much every person having food confiscated

0:27:590:28:06

it's because they're bringing it in to eat themselves. But Liz and Cody are safeguarding the food chain.

0:28:060:28:12

By making sure it doesn't get into our food chain, our food is safe.

0:28:120:28:17

They do an amazing job and a very tough job as well.

0:28:170:28:22

'It may be time for me to hop on the next flight home,

0:28:220:28:26

'but for Cody it really is a never-ending mission.'

0:28:260:28:31

Still to come: a cafe owner comes clean about his hygiene.

0:28:350:28:40

-Do you use it regularly?

-No.

-That's very honest of you.

0:28:400:28:45

Back now to Corpus Christi Catholic College canteen in Preston.

0:28:480:28:53

Earlier, we saw the staff working overtime to deliver safe dinners to students during their exams.

0:28:530:28:59

Now the canteen is put to the test.

0:28:590:29:03

At Corpus Christi school, the busy lunch hour might be over, but the pressure's not.

0:29:040:29:11

The team scrubs down with extra vigour,

0:29:110:29:15

ready for the arrival of this man.

0:29:150:29:19

We've got an Environmental Health inspection, so we're a little bit nervous about that,

0:29:230:29:28

but we feel like we do the right things all the time. It shouldn't be too much of a problem.

0:29:280:29:34

Nowhere escapes the Food Fighters and Simon Neighbour is an Environmental Health Officer

0:29:340:29:40

-charged with checking the food here is safe.

-Hello.

0:29:400:29:44

-Simon, Environmental Health.

-How are you?

-Your routine inspection.

0:29:440:29:49

Simon's going to write a school report, Food Fighters style.

0:29:490:29:54

So will it be gold stars all round or a case of "must try harder" for Head Chef Chris Callagher?

0:29:540:30:01

Schools are inspected every 18 months.

0:30:010:30:04

Last time, Chris got top marks.

0:30:040:30:07

After a quick change, Simon's first task is to catch up on what has been happening.

0:30:070:30:13

-Since we saw you last time, we've won the Best School Dinners in the country.

-Brilliant.

0:30:130:30:18

-From the Times Education Awards.

-OK.

0:30:180:30:21

What I do is all the paperwork I keep by the back door now.

0:30:210:30:25

When a delivery comes in, I check it all off so there's no temptation to fill it in later.

0:30:250:30:31

It's there. We do temperature checks.

0:30:310:30:34

I get the feeling Chris is trying to be a bit of a teacher's pet.

0:30:340:30:38

Simon's impressed that Chris is showing all his working out, so that's some house points already.

0:30:390:30:45

'Chris said as deliveries come, he does the paperwork there and then.

0:30:490:30:53

'Then it goes in the dry store or chill room. You don't have to worry then about foods crossing over.'

0:30:530:31:01

If you've got raw product hanging around in an area and cooked or part-cooked products also,

0:31:010:31:07

you want to make sure you've got separation, opportunity to clean it down

0:31:070:31:13

and can keep them separate.

0:31:130:31:16

So has Chris been this organised throughout? The fridge is a key risk area. If it's not well kept,

0:31:160:31:22

then they could be working overtime.

0:31:220:31:25

Everything's dated. Brilliant.

0:31:270:31:30

When it was made and what the Use By date is. They're only giving it two days, which is great.

0:31:300:31:36

Even on relatively low-risk stuff. You've got raw food low down, separated, boxed and wrapped.

0:31:360:31:42

So now raw juices dripping on to ready to eat foods.

0:31:420:31:47

There's no food debris in here. There's not a lot of stock, which is good. You don't want that.

0:31:470:31:54

There's obviously a rapid turnover.

0:31:540:31:57

-It's really tidy, really nice.

-Full marks for the fridge.

0:31:570:32:00

But it's going to be the state of the kitchen that decides whether Chris is really in the top set.

0:32:000:32:07

It looks brilliant. You know, all the stainless steel is shining.

0:32:090:32:13

You don't see streaks and smears.

0:32:130:32:16

People buy a stainless steel top and think, "I've done everything."

0:32:160:32:20

If you use a chemical, put it on, wipe it off. You'll see the smears left behind on it.

0:32:200:32:27

And here's the secret behind Chris's shiny surfaces - a dispenser

0:32:270:32:31

which makes sure the sanitiser is properly mixed every time.

0:32:310:32:35

What you don't end up with is one of the ladies trying to mix a bottle on the side of a table,

0:32:350:32:41

-putting too much in.

-So that's automatically diluted?

-Yeah.

0:32:410:32:46

Perfect.

0:32:460:32:48

Chris, you are such a swot!

0:32:480:32:51

Simon's clearly impressed and delighted with the spotless kitchen.

0:32:530:32:58

-This is used in the afternoon for cooling the cakes down.

-OK.

0:32:580:33:02

It's like a mirror in there!

0:33:030:33:05

Chris seems to be relaxing,

0:33:070:33:09

but then, finally, there's a bit of a fluff.

0:33:090:33:13

You've got a tiny little bit of fluff on there, on the bottom.

0:33:130:33:17

Well, he is only human after all, but this will hardly blot his copybook.

0:33:210:33:28

So at the end of this exam, it's not A stars Chris is hoping for, but Food Fighter ones.

0:33:280:33:34

Is he going to stay top of the class?

0:33:340:33:37

OK, Chris. Just finished off out the front. It's brilliant.

0:33:370:33:42

It's really, really nice. "Confidence in management" is the highest score you can get,

0:33:420:33:48

"Structure" is the highest score, I've not seen any preparation, but I'll carry over the last score.

0:33:480:33:55

-So it's top marks. You'll get another 5-star certificate.

-Lovely.

-Thanks very much for your time.

0:33:550:34:01

-I'll sleep tonight!

-I'll get this off now.

-Fantastic.

0:34:010:34:05

Thank you.

0:34:050:34:07

For Chris, being the Food Fighter's pet makes it all worthwhile.

0:34:080:34:13

And the pupils here will never have the excuse of food poisoning to get them out of lessons.

0:34:130:34:18

You feel when people come in and see you've got five stars,

0:34:180:34:23

they know you're doing a good job keeping tings clean, which is just paramount for me.

0:34:230:34:29

It's something I'm really proud of.

0:34:290:34:32

So I'll keep on top of it.

0:34:320:34:34

The term greasy spoon describes cafes serving up fried foods.

0:34:470:34:51

It's not the most flattering phrase, but all food outlets have to meet public health standards.

0:34:510:34:56

We've been following three Food Fighters up and down the country to see if grease really is the word.

0:34:560:35:03

In Westminster, Environmental Health Officer Sarah Quinn is at Caffe Pronto.

0:35:070:35:13

And this greasy spoon isn't very greasy.

0:35:130:35:17

It looks pretty clean.

0:35:180:35:20

Now for the important stuff - the food.

0:35:220:35:26

Sarah uses her probe thermometer to test the temperature of the fillings.

0:35:260:35:31

Making sure the temperature of any cold food is below 8 Celsius.

0:35:310:35:35

The legislation says it must be because it helps control the growth of bacteria.

0:35:350:35:41

Anything between 8 and 63 degrees Celsius is classed as the danger zone.

0:35:410:35:48

If your food's in that danger zone, bacteria multiply a lot quicker

0:35:480:35:53

and there's a small chance of food poisoning.

0:35:530:35:56

This is 6.7 degrees, so it's well into the temperature area we'd like.

0:35:560:36:03

Sarah's impressed with Pronto frontman Riyadh Haziq.

0:36:030:36:07

Egg and bacon, twice.

0:36:070:36:10

Most owners feel a bit of tension when the Health Inspectors come,

0:36:100:36:15

but for Riyadh the heat is very much off.

0:36:150:36:18

-Generally, yeah.

-Is it good?

-Yes.

-I've been a good boy?

0:36:180:36:23

-For a greasy spoon...

-Yeah?

-..it's clean.

0:36:230:36:27

The Food Fighters mark every kitchen with a star rating out of five.

0:36:280:36:33

Only some missing paperwork has cost Pronto top scores.

0:36:330:36:38

If they had the paperwork here, we'd probably be looking at five stars.

0:36:380:36:43

I'm not going to make a decision here and now, but we're probably still looking at four.

0:36:430:36:49

For Sarah, this has been a cracking inspection.

0:36:500:36:55

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

-'He was a very nice gentleman, he knew what he was talking about.'

0:36:550:37:01

It was very clean, very well run. It just gives you confidence.

0:37:010:37:06

It's nice to see that people are happy to have you there and will take on board any advice you give.

0:37:060:37:12

I'm really pleased with the way it went.

0:37:120:37:16

In Southend, Food Fighter Steve Ramm is at Dino's Cafe.

0:37:180:37:23

Dino's owner and chef Richard Bonnett is facing plenty of questions.

0:37:270:37:32

-There are a few little concerns here.

-Right now, they're talking rubbish.

0:37:320:37:39

In the summer, more likelihood of flies around the waste bin. I can't see a lid. Do you have one?

0:37:390:37:45

-Not normally, no.

-I would advise strongly that you get one.

0:37:450:37:50

Then the bugs will be less.

0:37:500:37:53

Have you got any plans to, at the sort of bare minimum,

0:37:530:37:58

-tidy up a bit and make some minor repairs or even...

-Yeah, yeah, there's loads I'd love to do

0:37:580:38:04

-but that's down to finances.

-Yeah.

-As we all know.

0:38:040:38:08

A little bit of structural alteration and to have adequate shelving and such like

0:38:080:38:14

to keep all the things in a designated area.

0:38:140:38:17

As well as being vigilant about ingredients, there are simple, but effective ways to banish bacteria.

0:38:200:38:27

I'm looking at this hand basin. It's not readily accessible, which the law requires.

0:38:270:38:33

-Why? Because if you are of average male height...

-Yeah, no problem.

0:38:330:38:38

It's not encouraging me to use this.

0:38:380:38:41

Regular hand washing in a designated hand basin is one of the best ways to prevent food poisoning.

0:38:410:38:47

-Do you use it regularly?

-No.

-That's very honest of you.

0:38:470:38:51

-I would normally use that one.

-You would? OK.

0:38:510:38:55

This is mainly a sink. You could designate and sanitise this for hand-washing.

0:38:550:39:01

-It's not likely to happen when you're busy.

-No, no...

0:39:010:39:05

That's likely to get contaminated.

0:39:050:39:08

Time for Steve to come clean and reveal Dino's hygiene score.

0:39:100:39:14

It's three out of five,

0:39:140:39:16

but with a few improvements that could rise.

0:39:160:39:21

It's a bit difficult in this small structure to get that score high.

0:39:210:39:26

Five is very difficult to aim for, but you're three and four is attainable.

0:39:260:39:31

The previous score, which was 18 months ago, was three, "generally satisfactory".

0:39:310:39:38

And that's what it still is. I hoped it might improve a bit.

0:39:380:39:42

You'll not run much of a risk here, but there are improvements to make.

0:39:420:39:46

As time goes on, we all get lax and need a little push in the right direction.

0:39:460:39:53

If you give a customer food poisoning they won't come back next week, so we keep them happy and us happy.

0:39:530:40:00

Back at the Quarry in Leicestershire, Laura Cowlishaw is digging around Marie's cafe.

0:40:040:40:10

-Ham and cheese.

-And so far she's pretty much struck gold.

0:40:110:40:17

Their separation and prevention of cross-contamination is spot on.

0:40:170:40:21

I've not seen it this good in a premises of this type before

0:40:210:40:26

so you've got full marks for that!

0:40:260:40:29

When it comes to marks, Marie Collins is keen for an overall five-star rating.

0:40:300:40:37

This is what Marie's keeping warm. It's your usual breakfast stuff. She's got the beans, the bacon...

0:40:370:40:44

And her hot streak continues when Laura checks the food.

0:40:450:40:50

The sausages, they're 64, 65, 68, 70. That's excellent.

0:40:500:40:55

But Marie's hopes could be hit.

0:40:570:41:00

There's no running hot water onsite.

0:41:020:41:05

Cold water just can't blast the bacteria away.

0:41:070:41:10

Hot water is a legal requirement.

0:41:100:41:13

The Quarry is not adaptable because it's on such a tight line.

0:41:130:41:18

Marie does have an urn providing boiling water.

0:41:180:41:22

She uses this for washing hands and dishes.

0:41:220:41:27

-That's constantly boiling, 24/7. I never switch it off.

-Right. You've always got that in use.

0:41:270:41:33

Allowances for the set-up might just have saved Marie's bacon.

0:41:350:41:40

It's like more of a burger van, even though it's a static thing.

0:41:400:41:44

Sometimes, you know, we kind of allow things like that.

0:41:440:41:49

Minor cleaning issues cost Marie top marks last time.

0:41:490:41:53

She's confident there's been an improvement and hopes the stars will reflect this.

0:41:530:41:59

Cleaning's really good. Just a pipe under the sink, no big deal.

0:41:590:42:04

Moment of truth time.

0:42:040:42:07

Is it a clean sweep of stars for Marie's cafe?

0:42:070:42:11

Overall, you're doing a cracking job. The practices are fantastic.

0:42:110:42:16

-And your paperwork is in place and up to date, so well done. I'm going to give you five stars.

-Thank you!

0:42:160:42:23

Five! I'm happy.

0:42:250:42:27

That is one big, red smiley face!

0:42:270:42:30

This not-so-greasy spoon could teach some supposedly posher places a thing or two about safety.

0:42:310:42:38

It would be nice to take a few not-so-good businesses there and show them how it should be done.

0:42:400:42:46

She's gone up a star rating. I'm really happy for her.

0:42:460:42:51

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2011

0:43:100:43:14

Email [email protected]

0:43:150:43:17

Series presented by chef Simon Rimmer following the army of people protecting the food we eat.

In this programme, Simon is at Gatwick Airport meeting the canine food fighter stopping banned goods coming in to the country.

In Preston, an environmental health inspector visits a local school to make sure the dinners are up to scratch.

And greasy spoons come under the spotlight.


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