Case 121 - Restaurant refuses to give customers toothpicks due to health & safety


Whilst eating a meal in a restaurant, the enquirer requested a tooth pick but was informed that he could not have one due to 'Health and Safety'. When he asked what the Health and Safety issue was the waiter could not answer.

Panel decision

There is no health and safety regulation which stops tooth picks being handed out in a restaurant. This particular restaurant appears to have recognised that it quoted "health and safety" as an excuse in error but there is an important message here for all restaurants. Whether or not to provide tooth picks is about cost and customer service NOT health and safety.