— Newshub (@NewshubNZ) February 26, 2019
If you are from the southern hemisphere you can well imagine the stampede that happened when social media proclaimed that a whole truck load of Big Bens, the savoury meat pie made with New Zealand ground beef and cheese had spilled in South Auckland. The news spread quickly that the boxed up pies were free for the taking for “pie-oneers”.
It was no surprise that Emergency services rushes to the “pie-tastrophe” but the pies were already disappearing, thanks to the courteous truck driver who had blocked traffic when his load of freshly baked pies had spilled out. As one Facebook post enthused “If you can get to Manukau Bus Station ASAP free pies. Truck’s door opened as he was turning the corner. Driver giving them away.”
As Newshub New Zealand observed “thousands of innocent Big Bens fell victim to the disaster and the public as quick to realise its good fortune“. But in real life no good deed goes unpunished and it was not long before public health officials stepped in telling everyone to back away from the pies which they stated could be hazardous to New Zealanders’ health.
Using this opportunity to let citizens know that over 500 New Zealanders gets food poisoning daily, “the pies were last seen being guarded by security staff in hi-vis vests while they were being cleaned up.”
For cultural context on the importance of Big Ben pie I’ve included a 29-year-old short commercial on Big Ben pies, as well as the official statement from the local police force about the pie drop.