Bunnings' popular sausage sizzles are facing a snag — all because one Australian man slipped on an onion.
The retail giant has confirmed new suggestions here and in Australia governing how sausage sizzles should be conducted from now on.
A Bunnings New Zealand spokesperson confirmed that the controversial change will also be applied in this country.
The new guideline means the fried onion can no longer be placed on top of the sausage, but now has to be on the bottom. The safety rule is designed to prevent chopped onions falling out and posing a slip hazard.
Three years ago, a farmer named Trevor slipped backwards after stepping on an onion while entering Gympie Bunnings, in Queensland, to buy a weed eater, ABC reports.
"I walked into store and it happened so fast, I had leather boots on, I went down on my back," the farmer said.
The 65-year-old said he was cautious of hitting his head on the ground.
"When I went down, that is the first thing I thought of — 'don't let your head hit the concrete'."
After the incident, the company offered to call him an ambulance, but he declined at the time as he felt okay.
However, the next day the Queensland man noticed the extent of his injuries and became concerned about his recently replaced hip.
He had to undergo an MRI to ensure that the hip was not damaged, leaving him no choice but to pursue Bunnings for the emotional stress caused by the accident.
"I used to be an amateur boxer and I learnt the punch is not going to kill you; it's hitting your head on the concrete that is going to. I went to another Bunnings a couple of weeks after and I had a panic attack.
"Every time I go into Bunnings now I look on the floor — I look for onions."
Trevor was compensated by Bunnings and signed a non-disclosure agreement.
While the onion switch-up has become a big debate in Australia (and New Zealand as well), Trevor said the warning was no laughing matter.
"It is serious stuff, this onion thing," he told ABC.
The shift — which has already been rolled out in Australia — tackles the apparent dangers posed by a few bits of fried onion falling on to the ground.
"Safety is always our number one priority and we recently introduced a suggestion that onions be placed underneath sausages to help prevent the onion from falling out and creating a slipping hazard," Bunnings Australia chief operating officer Debbie Poole said.
"This recommendation is provided to the community groups within their fundraising sausage sizzle welcome pack and is on display within the gazebos when barbecues are under way."