A TV chef has hit back at "double dipping" criticism saying diners "get it every time you eat out".
Olia Hercules made the comments after viewers criticised her for using the same spoon a number of times while tasting a sauce on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch show.
The Ukrainian-born chef initially blamed the oversight on that fact that cooking on TV is "super tough" and protested that "no one died".
Despite receiving support from fellow chefs, including Nigella Lawson, her comments have also drawn criticism from a food hygiene expert.
While making a blackberry sauce for a traditional Georgian dish, a poussin tabaka, on Sunday's show, Ms Hercules was seen tasting it twice with the same spoon, which she then appeared to use to serve the show's guests.
The "double dipping" was picked up on by some viewers who aired their distaste on Twitter. One argued that "[being] short on time doesn't mean infection control should be compromised".
Mrs Hercules responded to the criticism, tweeting: "To all those sending negative comments about spoon dipping - Live TV is super tough.
"You have to talk, cook, be charming and remember to wash hands after handling raw chicken! (which is key!) Then you keep talking & boom! The spoon thing slips your mind. Please be kind. No one died."
She later added: "Shock. Horror. PS if that is so outlandishly horrendous to you - you should never EVER eat out again. Anywhere. Because chefs are humans and they forget. You get it every time you eat out. Fact."
Sylvia Anderson, a food hygiene consultant who has appeared on BBC One's Watchdog, said that "double dipping" in professional kitchens was dangerous as it spread bacteria.
"It is definitely not common practice," she said. "I work to teach chefs not to do that as ultimately their customers can get sick.
"Staff can get in serious trouble if they do that as it is such a dangerous thing to do."
Meanwhile, other chefs were quick to show support for Mrs Hercules following the on-air faux pas.
Among them was Nigella Lawson, who tweeted: "Oh per-lease! But then complaining makes some people bitterly happy. You and your food make us properly happy."
Neil Rankin, the owner and chef at London's Temper restaurants, told The Telegraph he had sympathy with Mrs Hercules as TV kitchens were a "fictional environment" where chefs had to perform and chat with hosts as well as cook.
He said: "If you are serving people at home or in a restaurant you have to be careful about this. But it was an exceptional platform to be doing this on, given the timekeeping and the pressure she was under.
"You are always going to make a mistake. Put anyone in front of a camera at that time of the morning and see if they perform perfectly at their job."
Mrs Hercules declined to comment when contacted by the Telegraph.