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Fire brigade chip in to Mary Berry deep-fat fryer argument

Mary Berry and Gregg Wallace have had a spat over deep-fat fryers Credit: PA

The London Fire Brigade have waded into the row between Gregg Wallace and Mary Berry over deep-fat fryers - saying that they firmly side with the baking queen.

Great British Bake Off star Berry, 81, provoked controversy when she told a magazine in an interview "I don't think any household should have a deep-fat fryer".

MasterChef judge Wallace responded saying that her opposition to the deep-fat fryer is "an attack on our British way of life".

"Our nation was built on chips and spam fritters," he wrote in the Sun on Sunday. "I love Mary dearly but this is an attack on our British way of life."

The pair argued over deep-fat fryers, which many Britons use for cooking chips Credit: PA

Now Andy Hearn, deputy assistant commissioner at London Fire Brigade has said that Mary Berry is "absolutely correct".

"The British way of life isn't about doing something that could potentially place your home and family at risk, and if you're not careful, using a deep-fat fryer could do just that," he said.

"Mary Berry is absolutely correct, deep-fat fryers, especially the traditional chip pans, can be dangerous and unfortunately they cause serious fires every week.

"I'm not saying people must stop eating chips, but there are far safer ways to enjoy them than preparing them using these fryers. Visiting the chip shop or making oven chips are much safer options."

The London Fire Brigade also tweeted a video demonstration of a huge blaze caused by water falling into a pan of hot fat.

According to the Brigade, more than one fire a week is caused by deep-fat fryers, with 630 house fires and 70 injuries being caused in London alone since 2010.

On Monday, Mary Berry stood by her comments, telling BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that deep-fat fryers cause fires and are bad for you.

"I have never, on any of my programmes, ever used a deep-fat fryer," she said.

"Nowadays everybody eats in the kitchen, I know we do, and I certainly don't want the smell of frying while I'm eating.

"And so we do have oven chips from time to time when the grandchildren come - give them a treat - but I usually do things in the oven rather than frying.

"I think it's unhealthy as well."

The GBBO star says she has never used a deep-fat fryer Credit: Reuters

The Brigade advised people who use chip pans or fat fryers to never fill the chip pan over a third full with oil or fat, never leave the pan alone with the heat on, and to not throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a hot fat fire.