It’s 3pm on a Saturday afternoon in London’s Brick Lane, and the street is thronging with punters happily tucking into little polystyrene tubs of rice-based fork food. The aroma that fills the air is a heady mix of spices, grilled meats and diesel fumes. However, the exotic romance of this food-lovers paradise conceals a dark secret. Those gigantic metal cooking pans with tiny handles on the sides aren’t as innocent as they look.
According to a study out today by The University of Tewkesbury, street food is full of the most disgusting shit imaginable, and we’re not just referring to those weird spongey bits of chicken in the paella.
Chef/ minimum wage pan stirrer, Armando, loads up a tub of Thai Green Curry and shoves a wooden spork into it. “I’ve sneezed into that twice”, he admits, handing it to me. “I’ve got a nasty cold but I need the money so I’m working a full shift today. I try not to make my coughing too obvious, and most people are oblivious anyway because they’re busy Instagramming the food. That’ll be ten quid please.”
Hannah is stirring a massive black pan on the next stall. “I caught a pigeon wading through the Nasi Goreng earlier. I hit it with my spatula and it flew off with its feet stained yellow. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
Lab tests have revealed that the possibility of catching food poisoning, cholera or AIDS is worryingly high. Advice for foodies is to get themselves vaccinated as if they were a gap year student embarking on a round-the-world trip.