Bunnings' popular sausage sizzles are facing a snag - the safety dangers posed to shoppers by slippery onions.
The retail giant has confirmed new rules here and in Australia governing how sausage sizzles are to be conducted from now on.
In case you thought the operator simply slaps a sausage in a buttered piece of bread and offers you a choice of condiments think again - it turns out there is now an approved science to constructing a safe snarler.
The new rule means the fried onion can no longer be placed on top of the sausage, but now has to be on the bottom.
The new rule — 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 onion 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 underway," Poole said.
A Bunnings New Zealand spokesperson confirmed that the controversial change will also be applied in this country.
Like safety warnings on peanut packets advising they may contain traces of nuts or hot content cautions on coffee cups, the step has already been viewed by many as an unnecessary example of red tape.
Melbourne radio station 3AW uncovered a rumour about the new requirement this week and confirmed its existence today, sparking a mix of amusement and annoyance from listeners.
On social media, the change has prompted mostly confusion, with one blunt user summing up the mood by tweeting: "Jesus, Mary, what the f***?"
Bunnings doesn't believe the change will have much of an impact though.
"Regardless of how you like your [sausage sizzle], we are confident this new serving suggestion will not impact the delicious taste or great feeling you get when supporting your local community group," Poole said.
Rest assured, however, the sweet smell of the sizzle won't be leaving New Zealand anytime soon.
- Staff reporter, News.com.au