You know Nusret Gökçe a.k.a. #SaltBae, the Turkish restaurant owner/chef who went viral in January last year with a video of him preparing an Ottoman steak and sprinkling a handful of salt crystals at the end of the clip – has more than 9 million views now. With five steakhouses and two burger joints in Turkey and Dubai, named Nusr-Et (after himself), the first of which opened in 2010 … this is a million dollar empire with more than 400 employees, according to Turkish Media. But Nusret seems to have found himself in trouble...
The frenzy didn’t just end there… after causing a stir on social media, we saw celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, Roger Federer and Mesut Ozil all visit the restaurant to sample Salt Bae's fare, as well as Rihanna and Ben Affleck wearing meme T-shirts based on him.
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But his restaurant in NYC might be in a wee bit of trouble for violating the New York health code – Article 81, which states that “Food shall be prepared and served without bare hand contact unless the food will be heated to at least the minimum temperature required. Convenient and suitable utensils, disposable food grade gloves, waxed paper or an equivalent barrier shall be provided and used to prepare or serve food to eliminate bare hand contact and prevent contamination”.
Whoever has watched his videos would know that he handles cut meat with his bare hands. It is not just unhygienic, but can also be potentially dangerous due to higher chances of food poisoning as it is raw meat.
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Article 81 also reads that: “Except for medical alert bracelets or a ring that is smooth and without crevices, such as a wedding band, food workers may not wear jewelry on their arms or hands.”
Let's hope they sort this out ASAP!