Top 5 #GBBO disasters and how to avoid them

Top 5 #GBBO disasters and how to avoid them

Posted on Aug 05, 2015

So with the return of The Great British Bake Off, we thought it would be fun to look back on the past series' for the best fails.

If your culinary creations are sometimes prone to a soggy bottom, or just come out a little… well… flat, look no further, you’re in great company.

1. In 2013, two little words started trending on Twitter after a very serious case of custard theft, or ‘Custardgate’ as it was more commonly known. Howard Middleton was the victim of the crème anglaise crime, ‘#PoorHoward’ became one of the fastest trending hashtags on twitter that season – and it went worldwide with people sharing their views on social media about the trifle disaster. Hear what Howard had to say about the situation here. This incident was only a week after #PoorHoward had his muffins squashed by GBBO presenter, Sue Perkins – luck really wasn’t on Howard’s side!

2. Fast forward to 2014, and it was the turn of Iain Watters to fall victim, as we saw another case of GBBO sabotage. This time, ‘Bingate’, as we watched Diana Beard remove Iain’s Baked Alaska from ‘her’ freezer, leaving it on the side to melt.


When Iain discovered this, he went into meltdown, threw his not-so-baked-alaska in the bin and stormed out of the tent. Again, social media went wild as people shared their views and opinions of the incident, with the hashtag #Bingate trending like wildfire. The best bit? When Iain was asked to present his Baked Alaska to Mary and Paul, and he gave them his bin.


3. Uncooked and unruly bakes, and this goes across all series’. More recently, one of our favourite contestants here at flick, Norman Calder, left the competition during week 5’s show after he presented an uncooked tart au citron and a ‘weepy’ fruit pie. Whilst Norman entertained us with words such as ‘chakalaka’ (he meant chalaza), his undercooked items became too much for Paul and Mary and he was asked to leave the GBBO tent.

4. Blue plaster glove anyone? Back in 2012 and series 3 of the TV show, contestant John Whaite sustained an injury that would see him withdrawn from ‘strudel week’ after he cut

his finger open on an electric mixer. The episode was not for the squeamish and was described by some on Twitter as a #bloodbath. When a blue plaster was not enough to help poor John’s injury, he was made to wear a pair of bright blue latex gloves, however, after the bleeding did not stop and John became pale and dizzy, he was made to abandon the strudel-making Showstopper challenge and seek medical help from the onset doctors. If we learned anything from this episode, it would be to respect the utensils. At all times.

5. Butterfingers (oh how appropriate). Series 3 gave us the episode when Danny (Danielle Bryden) dropped her perfect cakes on the floor and all over her shoes as she took them out of the oven. Series 2 contestant Rob Billington dropped his 8 tier cake as he’d just finished icing it. No fear however – Mel, Sue and even Paul ran to help him as he managed to salvage 1 of his 8 layers of cake. Good thing he did too, as it was Mary Berry’s favourite bake of the series!

How to avoid food poisoning

From cake-tastrophes, kitchen injuries, sabotage to ‘dropsies’, we’ve seen it all in the GBBO tent. So here’s our top 5 tips for avoiding any form of food poisoning kitchen disaster:

1. Wash your hands. A lot.

This includes when preparing food, handling any type of food or produce and using catering equipment.

2. Rotate stock and utilise correct storage methods

Remember to label and date food you are storing, and stay on top of your fridge and freezer management. Store foods on the correct shelves (meat and fish on the bottom shelf, salad in the salad draw and ready to eat foods on the middle and top shelves). The correct temperature for your fridge is 0-5°c and your freezer should be at a temperature of -18ºc.

3. If it’s been on the floor, bin it – the 5 second rule isn’t real.

Any food that’s been dropped on the floor must be binned straightaway, it is no longer safe for consumption due to contamination. Any utensils or kitchen equipment dropped on the floor must be washed immediately.

4. Don’t use the same spoon twice to taste the food – no double dipping.

As humans, we are vehicles for spreading bacteria. When you use a clean spoon to dip and taste your food, use another clean spoon to re-taste, never use the same spoon twice as this can cause cross-contamination.

5. Remember the ‘Danger Zones’ when it comes to hot holding.

Bacteria can begin to grow at just 5°c, and food that is just left out after cooking or eating is likely to be warmer than that for some time. The longer leftover food stays warm, the longer any bugs present have to grow quickly. Remember to let food cool and then store it at the correct temperature. When re-heating food, ensure you have heated it to above 63°c to take it out of the danger zone.

For your free guide on to how to store eggs that are cooked, uncooked and everything in between click here or if you would like to find out more about our food hygiene training course click here.


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