Instagram Roasted Ina Garten For A Classic Raw Chicken Mistake

In Ina Garten's career, one recipe stands above the rest. Rumored to be responsible for the marriages of both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as well as Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, the Barefoot Contessa's roast chicken is by far her signature dish — so much so that one might even go as far as giving her the title of "the roast-ess with the mostest." But while Garten is usually the one doing the roasting when she's in the kitchen, Instagram turned the tables on the Food Network star when she was spotted committing a classic raw chicken mistake: handling the meat and not washing her hands (at least on camera) before touching other objects.

In a post shared on her Instagram page, Garten demonstrated how to make her Chicken with Goat Cheese and Basil. "This is one of my favorite recipes for when I'm too tired to cook but really want a hot meal," she explained. The dish appears in her cookbook "Barefoot Contessa At Home" and takes only 10 minutes to assemble. However, it wasn't the meal's quick prep work or Garten's instructions to slightly undercook the chicken that had her followers up in arms. Rather it was her apparent lack of concern about cross-contamination as she worked through the recipe.

"Ina you are my QUEEN but you're touching the chicken then the goat cheese and olive oil cap/dispenser/bottle," one person pointed out in the comments section. "Anyone else concerned about the salmonella olive oil?" another asked.

Cross-contamination is more common than you might think on cooking shows

A third commenter on Ina Garten's Instagram post dubbed her the "queen of cross-contamination." However, she's not the only celebrity chef who's guilty of making such a misstep. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Public Health found that after observing 100 episodes of cooking shows hosted by a total of 24 celebrity chefs including Garten, 88% of them were not shown washing their hands after handling uncooked meat while 25% used the same cutting board for raw meat and cooked foods.

As some people have suggested in a Reddit thread, the absence of safe food-handling practices in cooking shows and social media videos may be due to edits made during production to save time. Still, those new to the culinary world may not realize the risks of cross-contamination if they don't see famous chefs using food safety practices online or on television, and Garten's followers decided to call her out for the dangerous cooking mistake.

While her recipe suggestion for chicken with goat cheese and basil is still a good one to keep on hand for nights you don't feel like cooking, make sure to wash your hands immediately following any interaction with raw meat, poultry, or fish to prevent spreading harmful bacteria that could cause foodborne illnesses. Additionally, the USDA suggests using separate cutting boards for these ingredients and washing any tools used with them in hot, soapy water.