Oh Crumbs: Is it Time for Biscuit Injury Lawsuits?

Hazardous Biscuits From The Daily Record 08/09/09:

Custard creams are Britain's most dangerous biscuits, it was revealed yesterday A study claimed an estimated 25million people in Britain had been injured by biscuits.

Hidden dangers included flying fragments and daredevil dunking in scalding tea. And custard creams were the worst offenders, posing the biggest risk to innocent dunkers.

Around 500 people a year need hospital treatment because of biscuit injuries.

The study by Mindlab found 29 per cent of adults had been splashed or scalded by hot drinks while dunking or trying to fish the remnants from hot tea.

They also found 28 per cent had choked on crumbs and 10 per cent had broken a tooth or filling biting a biccy.

More unusually, three per cent had poked themselves in the eye with a biscuit and seven per cent were bitten by a pet or "other wild animal" trying to get their biscuit.

Personally, I would have thought that Ginger Nuts would be the most dangerous biscuit owing to the hard and crisp nature rather than the humble custard cream. News stories like this one make it easy to lose whatever sense of perspective the average adult has these days and feel the ‘compensation culture’ taking over.

A Canadian author, Bob Beers, picked up on this story:

Liberal culture has brought us to the point where personal injury lawyers essentially run our economic system. What, you say the coffee was too hot? You say the fourteen signs warning you about the fact the coffee was hot weren’t enough? You say you bought that coffee at an evil corporate franchise??? We have got to sue!!!

Steady on, Bob. While England and Wales can’t claim to have never seen a frivolous claim or two, I don’t think anyone is suggesting that it’s time to bring civil actions against biscuit manufacturers or negligent biscuit crunchers for causing lethal shrapnel in the form of crumbs to invade the personal space or others. As I previously said, perspective is key here; properly used negligence claims can play a useful and important role in modern society to provide redress and improve standards of behaviour and safety. But I don’t think anyone is suggesting that it’s time to bring an action against a custard cream. Nor a Bourbon, Garibaldi or Hobnob, for that matter.


  1. More concerning is the individual who became mired in setting concrete as he attempted to retrieve a dropped biscuit. Sometimes if you love it you need to let it go.

  2. How do you poke yourself in the eye with a biscuit? Is it a matter of getting confused with the facial orifices when attempting to eat? Mind you my cousin once got a jelly tot stuck up her nose:-)

  3. Well said, Stephen. That must have been quite a biscuit for him to wade out into setting concrete. I actually remember doing such a thing as a kid when another child had dropped my brand new sunglasses into someone's setting driveway.

    BM: I absolutely agree with you. Aiming for your mouth but hitting your eye when trying to eat a biscuit is the mother of all misses.


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