I suppose my real area of annoyance is the way you will go into a pub and, after having had a pint, the staff will insist on you having a clean glass (at one of the pubs I go to we call it a fresh glass - due to the fact they wash the glasses by hand) but often when staff serve the beer their fingers are all around the rim! If you have helped at a CAMRA beer festival one of the things the organisers agree on is that the top half of the glass belongs to the customer, only the lower half should be touched by the server. Seems like common sense to me, yet how often have we had a grubby mit thrust into a glass! Also if a glass is reused you will often find the neck of the beer dispenser actually touching the side of the glass where it has been in contact with the recipient - not good practice.

I am also disturbed about the fact that there are still many pubs that allow smoking at the bar! It is only a matter of time before this antiquated habit is banished from our pubs for ever, hallelujah! But in the meanwhile those working behind bars and also those trying to purchase a drink have no choice but to suck in this particular pollution.

I get really wound up that certain issues just mentioned are ignored, but yet the easy hit like how long a piece of meat can be left out of the fridge before cooking is vehemently adhered to. In France the usual crack-pot European initiatives are listened to but rarely acted on, as they have a much more liberal view on enforcement. I regularly cross the channel to "La Belle France" and it always amazes me that a steak on their soil tastes so good; beef from Scotland is the best in the world, but how come it is cooked so much better over there? I suspect because we are so scared by European requirements that we never take a piece of meat out before we are about to cook it whilst the French restaurateurs actually let the meat reach a warm temperature before cooking. When I think back to my youth we used to occasionally have a tummy upset. Now it is all kinds of things like salmonella poisoning and the like. Poppycock to me, too much nanny state but in the meanwhile whilst I am happy to dice with death over a piece of meat, please, publican, adopt the CAMRA stance on which part of a glass the staff hold, particularly if they have recently escaped for a quick drag or even visited the loo!

Jerry Brown