Two minutes into Food Inspectors (8pm, 9 January, BBC1) and we’d seen things that would leave “even the most experienced food inspector in a cold sweat.” I was just pleased I hadn’t ordered a Chinese from the ‘Sun and Moon’ takeaway where food hygiene was disgusting, mice droppings were everywhere and a pet rabbit lived in the kitchen.
The rabbit looked a tad nervous as an inspector shone a torch in its eyes, although if you spent your life watching your fellow animals being hacked apart with cleavers, you’d be a bit jittery. The owner bizarrely insisted spiders were the problem, not mice. But a rotting rodent was his downfall.
We moved on to animal rustling, a “countryside crime-wave” where sheep and pigs are snatched from fields, amateurishly butchered, and sold to restaurants. Bad news for farmers - and diners. Your meat could be stuffed with medicines unfit for humans, rather than sage and onion.
If that sounds unappetising, we met Darren, who contracted meningitis from pink pork, toured ‘No 1 Halal Meat’, which was overrun by mice and cockroaches (“the evidence is mounting up. And crawling off”), a café forced to take coleslaw off the menu unless it “mechanically washed” it and a sandwich factory that waged a constant war against listeria.
It all added up to an overlong, scattergun show. The illegal meat investigation, for instance, meandered and never exposed the criminals behind it. But at least that cute little bunny rabbit won’t end up in the chow mein.