It is things like this that lose you elections

Bureaucrats can easily cost governments elections.

For Helen Clark it was light bulbs and shower-heads. National has some issues with carpark taxes and copper taxes, but this will enrage more people than they could imagine.

New Zealand’s oldest licensed premises has pulled a burger that’s been the cornerstone of its menu – blaming it on bureaucratic red tape gone mad.

Dan Fraser, executive chef at the Duke of Marlborough restaurant in the Bay of Islands, was left stewing after a visit from a Ministry of Primary Industries inspector on Thursday.

New food preparation guidelines from MPI state meat and liver needs to be cooked at high temperatures for a longer amount of time than previously, to avoid contamination.

Fraser said the new rules were a raw deal and will now prevent him serving his signature burger The Governor’s Burger which is pink and juicy in the middle.

The Governor’s Burger features bacon, cheese, pickle, tomato, chipotle mayonnaise and a medium rare beef mince patty.

“It’s a really good burger, we really pride ourselves in presenting it to our customers,” Fraser said.

“Occasionally we get Americans that come in and want it more rare, or English that come in and want it more well-cooked, and we accommodate them, but now we can’t any more.

“Basically, the ministry is telling us how our customers need to eat their food.”

Clipboard toting jobsworths dreaming up regulations for no real purpose enrage voters more than most things. If I can’t have a burger rare then that’s my vote gone.

MPI food and beverage manager Sally Johnston, said the new rules didn’t entirely ban medium-rare meat – but chefs would have to change how they cooked it.

“If they do want to serve a medium-rare burger, it is possible, it just might take a little more forethought and planning,” Johnston said.

“It is possible to cook a medium-rare burger safely, it just means that they need to think about the processes that they are using to do that. It might not be necessarily possible to do that on a BBQ or grill.”

She suggest sous vide methods of cooking instead – what people used to call boil-in-the-bag.

“Who the f*** wants a sous vide burger?”, Fraser said.

Quite! The answer only a jobsworth could give. What an idiot.

Johnston insists the new rules are necessary. “People have died from under cooked burgers, there is a genuine food safety risk here, we’re not doing this to take the fun out of food,”

“Bugs that have caused people to die (such as E-Coli) are frequently found in New Zealand meat.”

Really? How many people have got food poisoning from eating rare burgers? People have died? I bet Google doesn’t even have an answer but this jobsworth does.

Surely this MPI food nazi has some real statistics?

Bit it gets worse…all of my favourite dishes seem to now be off the menu:

The new MPI guidelines detail how restaurants and food businesses should prepare, store and serve their food, and supplement the 2014 Food Act.

The main changes from the previous 2015 standards, as outlined in the Simply Safe and Suitable Template Food Control Plan, apply to the preparation of raw food.

The template says all minced meat, poultry, and chicken livers should be cooked thoroughly as they are “likely to be contaminated with bugs”.

Other meats can be served rare, but must be seared before serving.

Fraser said the rules will also cause issues for serving steak tartare, beef carpaccio, pate or chicken livers.

“I challenge you to find a duck liver pate that’s cooked at those high temperatures where the eggs haven’t scrambled and it’s gone all grainy.”

So, some jobsworth who isn’t even a chef has drafted some rules based on maths, physics and not at all what people want to eat and in the process created headlines and enraged rare meat lovers like myself.

This is the stuff that costs people jobs and elections. Pretty soon the general public will think that the move also means that the cooking of rare or bleu steaks will be banned. Then there really will be carnage.

No surprises that the Minister is Nathan Guy, the same muppet who didn’t think changes to snapper quota would hurt them.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.