I think sometimes the British use "health and safety" as an excuse for their laziness. That's the only reason I can think of for a First Great Western train steward refusing to sell a passenger an egg sandwich.
He said he was afraid the passenger might choke on it.
According to a story in the London Daily Mail, passenger Chris Haynes went to the dining car after the train broke down. The crew had promised everyone a free soft drink.
Haynes was feeling a little peckish (that's British for "hungry"), and he saw some egg sandwiches that were on sale behind the bar, so he ordered one.
That's when the steward saved Haynes life, and told him he couldn't sell him a sandwich because Haynes might choke on it.
"When I asked the man why not he said it was for health and safety reasons," Haynes told the Daily Mail. "I told him I didn't understand how health and safety came into selling a hungry stranded passenger an egg sandwich on a broken-down train."
Just when Haynes thought it wasn't possible for the situation to get any stupider, it did.
Haynes asked for an explanation, and was given one.
"Don't you see?" the steward told Haynes. "If the train has to be evacuated you could choke to death on the sandwich."
So, the First Great Western wasn't too worried about people inhaling their free soft drinks and aspirating on it? They weren't worried about someone choking on an ice cube?
The general rule of thumb is that if a guy is 59 years old, like Haynes, you can safely assume he knows how to eat a friggin' sandwich. Sell him the stupid sandwich and hope that someone in the crowd remembers the Heimlich maneuver. Or that if you have to evacuate the train, he'll have the common sense to stop eating while he flees the wreckage.
Don't be such a nanny, and stop trying to live people's lives for them.
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