Cafe’s health and safety tea gaffe


A cafe has made it in front of the HSE’s Myth Busters Challenge Panel over its refusal to top up a customer’s cup of tea for health and safety reasons.

The incident was brought to the HSE’s attention after the customer complained that he was told he could not have a second cup poured into the same cup for health and safety reasons.

Instead he was informed that it would have to be supplied in a new, clean one.

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The HSE did not name the cafe or its location, but confirmed that its panel regarded the cafe’s actions as a load of nonsense.

“This is not a health and safety matter and there is no legislation which would prevent the customer being served a second cup of tea in the same mug,” it stated.

“The cafe may have other reasons for its policy, but the panel applauds the person who raised this example of excessive risk aversion and his well-meaning attempt to save on their washing up!”

The case comes a month after a restaurant told a customer it could not serve pork crackling because it might splash the chef and contravene health and safety.

HSE admitted it was “bemused” by the case. “Breaking the crackling into pieces for serving can be quite tricky but it is hardly a health and safety issue. It should be a fairly basic skill for any chef to acquire,” it said.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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