HEALTH AND SAFETY

Pub regular chokes to death on pickled eggs

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Tragic: customer died after an alleged eating bet (Photo: Chris Walts via Flickr)
Tragic: customer died after an alleged eating bet (Photo: Chris Walts via Flickr)

Related tags: White hart inn, White hart

A regular at a Devon pub choked to death on pickled eggs after betting £5 he could eat four of them in one minute. 

David Mitchell, 66, collapsed at the White Hart Inn, Bridestowe, Devon, after allegedly refusing to spit out the pickled eggs, the Exeter Express & Echo ​reported today (11 January).

Mr Mitchell had reportedly been drinking a lunchtime pint when he got talking to four men who challenged him to eat the pickled eggs for £5.

According to the local newspaper, licensee Mike Dennis attempted to resuscitate Mr Mitchell with the village's defibrillator but was unsuccessful in saving his life. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

Welfare of customers

Poppleston Allen partner Graeme Cushion said this incident highlighted the need for operators to maintain their duties under health and safety legislation in regards to the welfare of their customers at all times.

He added: “The licensing objective of public safety may well also be engaged – although there does not seem to have been any consequences here.

“While a manager cannot stop every ridiculous antic a customer undertakes, one could quite reasonably question here whether this bet took place in full view of the bar or with staff and management watching.”

Past incidents

Last year, a 54-year old woman died after choking on a piece of lobster at Herefordshire pub, the Bridge Inn​. Her family tried to save her but were unable to.

In February 2016, a young woman dining at a London Metropolitan Pub Company site narrowly avoided injury after discovering a “giant” shard of glass​ inside a chicken burger she had ordered. 

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