It’s the debate that has been sizzling Down Under for days, but new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to take sides Wednesday on the hot topic of whether onions should be served on top or under a sausage.
Australian hardware chain Bunnings served up a banger of a controversy this week when it emerged it had told staff to put the onions under sausages citing health and safety concerns.
The chain — which often runs barbecue fundraisers at its stores — said there were concerns people might be injured by stray onions if the slippery vegetables ended up on the floor.
Cue raging debate in Australia on whether the directive was a sensible response to a potential risk, or the latest example of corporate health and safety overkill.
On Wednesday, at the sidelines of a regional diplomatic summit in Singapore, Morrison was fielding a string of journalists’ questions ranging from his hopes to move Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem to the trade war between the United States in China.
Then came a curve ball. Was Bunnings being “un-Australian” to dictate where onions should go?
“Whether the onions are on top or underneath, I’ll always be buying sausages on bread,” Morrison diplomatically replied.
“Frankly I’m not going to give them any recipe hints,” he added.
Many fellow Australians have been a little more forthcoming in their views.
“A vital staple in the Australian diet is a snag (sausage) on some fresh white bread, with a sprinkling of burnt, caramelized onion on top with a dollop of sauce,” radio DJ Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, wrote in an open letter to Bunnings that went viral.
“So why, why would you entertain the idea of bowing down to bureaucrats and safety officers to change the order of a recipe that doesn’t need to be fixed?” he added.
But others testified that they have had indeed experienced dangerous encounters with onions piled on top of sausages.
A Queensland farmer, who only gave his first name Trevor, phoned ABC Sunshine Coast to say he had reached a non-disclosure settlement with Bunnings three years ago after slipping on some onions and injuring his back.
“It is serious stuff, this onion thing,” he said.
Image credit: AFP/File / GREG WOOD