New Zealand joins Bunnings sausage sizzle onion safety furore

Eleanor Ainge Roy
Slip hazard: placing fried onions on top of the sausage has been deemed a health and safety issue by Bunnings because the onions might fall out of the sandwich. Photograph: Simon McGill/Getty Images

Australians’ concerns at a Bunnings health and safety directive calling for onions to be served under sausages has migrated across the Tasman, with the leaders of the two countries issuing a mock joint statement.

Bunnings New Zealand confirmed it would also direct people running its stores’ sausage sizzles to follow the Australian directive, requiring the onions to go on first, followed by the sausage, to avoid a slip hazard if the onion fell out.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the trans-Tasman barbeque concern, saying both she and Morrison wanted sausage sizzles to continue in perpetuity, no matter the risks.

“I think we should make a joint commitment that on our watches, the Bunnings sausage sizzle shall continue,” Ardern said.

“I agree, I agree,” said Morrison. “Onions on top, or underneath, however you like.”

“Just onions; they need to be available,” said Ardern. “So that’s resolved!”

Commercial radio stations in New Zealand also seized on the Bunnings sausage story, with More FM stationing a reporter in a car park with instructions to try and slip on onions. He failed.

The Warehouse, New Zealand’s largest general goods store, poked fun at Bunnings in a Twitter post, saying: “We’re satisfied with our sausage safety standards.

“To be frank, our customers know onions are for eating not dropping.

“What do our customers expect to see at ground level on the daily? Our everyday low prices. They’re real bangers.”

TVNZ morning television presenter Daniel Faitaua called the move “pathetic”, while his colleague Hayley Holt slammed it as “stupid”.

“I just think: ‘What’s the world coming to?’” Faitaua said.