I'm really glad to see this discussion here (even though it was three years ago). High ethical standards are very important.
From a BBQ competition layman's point of view, I would say judges should refrain from contact with teams as soon as food prep beings ... that means as soon as someone reaches for a container of salt, vanish.
Less fun? Sure. But, that's part of maintaining one's honor.
- my culinary adventures in the rural Philippines
IMBAS Certified MOINK Baller
Equipment: Weber Kettle, Stainless GOSM,
Green Super-Fast Thermapen
Equipment Wish List: Smokehouse, Backyard Brick Pit with Lechon Spit