In a moment of rampant occupational health and safety overreach, on Tuesday it was revealed Bunnings sent a suggestion to charity groups running sausage sizzles. One that has the potential to shred the very fabric of Australian society: place the onion beneath the sausage.
The hardware megastore suggested the current snag and bread construction (meat tube topped with onions) creates a potential slipping hazard – the onions can all too easily fall on the ground.
“This recommendation is provided to the community groups within their fundraising sausage sizzle welcome pack and is on display within the gazebos when barbeques are underway,” a Bunnings spokesperson said in a statement. “Regardless of how you like your onion and snag, we are confident this new serving suggestion will not impact the delicious taste or great feeling you get when supporting your local community group.”
Social media is alight with snag fans either defending the decision – claiming a higher proportion of onion will now end up in the mouth – or despairing at the red tape now enveloping their bangers; tape some say is symptomatic of an overly cautious regulatory culture. To settle the saga, Broadsheet asked the experts.
Chris Terlikar is pitmaster at killer Melbourne barbeque spot Bluebonnet. He reckons onions on top is the only way to go, and that serving size is a bigger problem than safety.
“Cut them in rings,” Terlikar says. “They’d all link together instead of having all these tiny little sliced onions … it’s the only solution.
“You want to see the onions, you want to see how much you’ve got on there.”
“[The opposition] is underestimating the construction of a hot dog, which a lot of people do. From a constructionist point of view, if you put the onions down at the bottom the bread’s going to get soggy,” says Siahaan. “They’re purveyors of construction equipment and building materials so they should understand this.”
It’s unknown at this stage if Bunnings has tested which sausage ingredient poses a bigger risk. Tomato sauce and mustard are also slippery and a stray snag could roll underfoot. The danger is akin to stepping on a detached broom handle.
“You’ve got to address safety issues directly,” says Siahaan. “They’re going to encounter exactly the same issues with the sauce, and then what are they going to do? Place the sauce and the mustard underneath the sausage too and make this monster Frankenstein hot dog? That doesn’t taste good either.”
The debate continues.
Has anyone asked the onions how they feel? Onions have layers. We tend to forget that. They have agency. #jesuisonion— Folks Populi (@theunRealPavs) November 13, 2018
For me the big question is do you buy your sausage sanger before or after shopping. I think it’s weird that people walk around Bunnings eating, and probably dropping onions on th floor.— bronwyn walenkamp (@bwalen) November 13, 2018
Wow what’s next, sauce portion control so people don’t slip on dripping sauce?— Glen (@glensarsero) November 13, 2018
If I want my onions on top, will I be forced to sign a waiver? 🤔 🤦♂️— Diego Torre (@robiroso) November 13, 2018
The fear of slipping on a dropped onion keeps me up at night.— Brandon Hill (@BrandonHill156) November 13, 2018
Re Bunnings snarlers, my Mum has messaged me to note “if you put the onions underneath the sausage the flimsy bread goes soggy and the whole thing collapses. Ergo, risk of onion slippage exponentially increases."— Christopher Bishop (@cjsbishop) November 14, 2018
WELL SAID MUM #bunnings #snaggate