Do onions go above or under a sausage? It’s a debate dividing a country

Australian sausage sizzle, a traditional barbecue offering. Getty Images

A burning question of whether onions go above or under a sausage has sparked a national debate in Australia that has gripped the country, raising tensions not seen since the controversy over whether a hot dog is in fact a sandwich.

Aussies are grappling with the question after hardware store chain Bunnings Warehouse, which hosts community charity BBQs on weekends, and serves up open-faced sausage sammys with onions on white bread, issued a directive to employees telling them onions must go under the meat for health and safety concerns.

“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 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.”

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The move by Bunnings to make onion toppings “underings” ignited the debate, to the point where the country’s prime minister was asked to chime in.

“Whether the onions are on top or underneath, I’ll always be buying sausages on bread,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters Wednesday. “Frankly, I’m not going to give them any recipe hints.”

On social media, the change was met with confusion and mixed reactions.

“What an outrage! Onion first? What’s next, cheese before the patty on a burger,” reads a comment.

“I’m used to people having a cry about onions but not like this,” reads another.

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“Onion first is the way to go. You lose less this way,” another said.

“Praying for the person who slipped on a stray Bunnings BBQ onion sliver and prompted this policy change,” Josh Butler chimed in.

According to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), someone did slip on some stray onions. A farmer from Queensland said he reached a non-disclosure agreement with Bunnings after reaching a compensation settlement three years ago. The man had walked into a Bunnings location and took a spill, injuring himself.

“I walked into the store and it happened so fast, I had leather boots on … I went down on my back,” the man told ABC. “It is serious stuff, this onion thing.”


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