back to article Custard Creams can kill: Official

A disturbing probe into the potential for apparently innocent biscuits' ability to do harm has revealed that an astounding 25 million Brits have been injured while indulging in some light coffee/tea break snack action, with 500 victims requiring hospital treatment. That's according to research outfit Mindlab International, …


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  1. Code Monkey

    So that's why they're called "Nice"

    So "Nice" refers to their comparative safety, not their flavour, which let’s face it is a bit rank. Thanks MindLab!

  2. Rob 101

    Jaffa Cakes!!!!

    The emphasis on cakes here. They went to a lot of trouble to prove they were not biscuits for VAT reasons so there should be a separate Most Dangerous Cakes list.

    Goggles for all those so mindbogglingly dense they can poke an eye out with a biscuit.

  3. LuMan

    Run for the hills...!

    Looks like they overlooked the threat that is the new generation of biscuit-loving zombie; babies! We see them, every day, getting brainwashed by mind-controlling Farley's Rusks. Their dependancies on twice-baked cakery being ever more ingrained into their young, impressionable (and, ultimately, programmable) minds. Biscuits are taking over the world and using the doe-eyed charms of infants to woo us into a false sense of security. Just wait until the Lizard Army figure it out. It'll be one hell of a fight.

    I for one welcome....etc.....<yawn>

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Reduce the danger, have a ciggie to kill the hunger pangs.

  5. Benny
    Thumb Up

    2 things

    1) "Those of you who like sucking a Ginger Nut" Pfffft! Brilliant!

    2) I thought that HobNobs were the SAS of biscuits?

  6. Lars 3

    So the real Q is...

    How many Brits does it take to eat a biscuit SAFELY?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Just plain wrong!

    Jaffa Cakes aren't Biscuits!!!

  8. Shaun 1

    Jaffa Cakes

    Jaffa Cakes are cakes, not biscuits

  9. graeme leggett

    In other news....

    Marketing stunt survey picked up as genuine news story.

    PR companie's tricks remain effective.

    Register readers disillusioned at lack of sceptical criticism

  10. Annihilator Silver badge

    Jaffa Cake not a biscuit!

    There was an extensive court case between HMCE and McVities that ruled a Jaffa Cake is indeed a cake (and therefore not subject to VAT). McVities argued that biscuits are normally expected to go soft when stale, and cakes would normally go hard. A Jaffa Cake goes hard when stale.

    It's this sort of shoddy report writing that's ruining the country! Think of the children!

  11. ulala

    Jaffa Cakes

    How can this be taken seriously when they make the school boy error of classifying a cake as a biscuit.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I hope this was a jokey bit of research...

  13. John A Fotheringham

    Statistics, good statistics and outright lies.

    I really don't believe these numbers. I seriously doubt a third of britons actually dunk biscuits on a regular basis any more, far less that a third of the population has been seriously scalded in the act of doing so.

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Sweet Surrender to the Sticky Morsel and Mighty Crumbs


    I'll have to get out more as I read every last word of that report and thought it admirable. :-)

  15. not.known@this.address

    Best breaktime 'treat' I know of...

    Sucking (hot) tea through a Peng^H^H^H certain choc-covered biscuit snack - heaven! (courtesy of my youngest sister-in-law)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Carrots cause wrinkles then death...

    100% of all carrot eaters eventually die.

  17. Astarte


    Absolutely outrageous, that really takes the biscuit.

    How on earth can responsible manufacturers be allowed to marked such products without being forced to include a healthwarning covering at least a third of the packaging.?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    At last

    a bootnotes story relevant to IT

    I have a few questions.

    Foxes crunch creams OK?

    Need a link to the paper to check methodology.

    I only eat biscuits when I drink tea - is that safer?

    Can we access the raw data to check their calculations, or shall I just reproduce the study in the office over next couple weeks?

    Have I been asleep, it's not 1st April anywhere in the world?

    Mmmm dangerous biscuits.

  19. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    Biscuits are that dangerous? Dayum. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "tea break."

  20. Geeks and Lies


    That is all...

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Valuable research!

    Seriously...someone paid for this research???? I'm in the wrong line of work...

  22. breakfast
    Thumb Up

    Finally, Science!

    Good work, Science, this is exactly the kind of information we need to make decisions in our daily lives.

    I feel vindicated in my choice of gingernuts and jaffa cakes as my biscuits of choice, although I suppose in the interests of threat mitigation we should all be nomming as many custard creams as possible in an attempt to eradicate this threat once and for all.

  23. Niall 1

    Poked themselves in the eye?

    I mean seriously WTF? Will all biscuits now come with protective goggles?

  24. Ed L

    Jaffa Cakes

    Good to see that Mindlab included Jaffa Cakes for comparison. Although technically, they are a cake, not a biscuit. Maybe that is why they are least dangerous!

    I suppose, if you poked yourself in the eye with one, it might be quite dire all the same. I'm not sure whether I find it hard to believe that a THIRD of Brits are forgetful of the location of their mouth?

  25. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: In other news....

    PR company may have shot self in foot since more readers are likely to think "Ooh I quite fancy a Jaffa Cake" rather than the brand in question which most will have overlooked.

    Register reader reads clearly frivolous item, complains.

    Million billion commentards point out that the Jaffa Cake is a cake not a biscuit by law.

    Moderatrix wonders if it's too early to start on the bourbon.

  26. BOBSta
    Thumb Up


    More! More! This is the kind of useful and informative reporting that the Reg should be bringing us all the time.

    Hurrah for number crunching boffins!

  27. A. Lewis

    Good stuff.

    "an equal percentage have poked themselves in the eye with a biscuit."

    Just: how?!

    Good thing I wasn't actually taking a drink when I read that. My attempt to conceal chortling drew enough funny looks from colleagues.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Phil Underwood

    @Sarah Bee

    It's never too early to start on the bourbon

  30. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    @ Sarah

    "Moderatrix wonders if it's too early to start on the bourbon."

    I'm sorry, there is such a time as "too early for bourbon"? Have a bottle of Old Huckleberry 101 on me. Best drunk in pints.

  31. Number6

    @Sarah Bee

    It's never too early to start on the bourbon. Especially if you stay on-topic and make it bourbon creams.

  32. Anonymous Coward


    Have just launched a project to develop the worlds deadliest baked snack for immediate deployment in armed conflict.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Best Headline ever...

    Superb article and great headline...

    Although don't want the H&S people to see this otherwise they'll force a Local Workstation/Desk Assessment for potential Health & Safety risks.

  34. The Indomitable Gall

    Statistically reliable...?

    I'm wondering if this isn't just the order of popularity of said biscuits. I mean, the more we eat, the more likely we'll have an accident. Custard Creams are probably the most popular workplace/social club "tea break" biscuit because they come in massive great packs of 40, 80, 100 or more for pennies, whereas the Jaffa Cake is fairly expensive and comes in packs of 12 or 15.

    Cookies are really two different things -- they're the "new doughnut" in that you can get the big chewy onesas a special Friday treat from the baker's, Millie's or Marks & Sparks, but there's also the very different crunchy ones that come in packets that aren't really any more expensive than things like Hob-Nobs. These little crunchy ones also come in the big tins or tubs containing a selection.

    Oh, what's in these "Family Favourites" boxes? Quite often the following:

    Custard Cream, Cookie, Wafer, Bourbon, Oat Biscuit, Digestive, Shortbread, Nice Biscuit, Chocolate Finger, Sandwich Cream (plain+chocolate coated), Jam Shortbread Sandwich (jam ring, Jammy Dodger, Happy Face)

    Did they account for this? The data to hand strongly suggests that they didn't....

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Using Home Office Statistics

    .... 100 rapists were interviewed and asked if they had dunked custard creams. An astonishing 99% of them said yes, giving clear and unequivocal proof that custard cream dunking is the cause of rape!

    "The dangers of custard creams cannot be underestimated", said a government spokeswoman, in response we have decided that possession of custard creams will be a criminal offense from midnight.

    Said McVities "This is ridiculous, custard creams hurt no one!". However victims are coming forward claiming, that indeed, they were raped by a custard cream dunker and demanding compensation from evil McVities via their lawyers, Claims Direct.

    Chief Inspector rozzer of CEOP added that "custard creams are often given to children by adults so how can McVities deny their role in this!?"

    "In some cases, victims are given custard creams as a child, they grow up, marry, continue dunking custard creams all their lives, and the Stockholm syndrome means they never realize they are biscuit abusers! They go on to have children of their own, and give them custard creams for dunking too! Even Garibaldis! The cycle of abuse continues and it must be broken! Anyone who disagrees with me is a secret dunker!"

    A new test is to be introduced for vanilla in the blood stream coupled to compulsory CCTV in supermarket biscuit isles. Only specially authorized people will be allowed to buy biscuits, and a new use for Biometric ID cards will be to ensure nobody gets biscuits who isn't specially authorized.

    A new TV advert will be shown "the police can tell if you've been dunking biscuits from your eyes", cut to a woman who had obviously been dunking and has a dreaming expression on her face.

    If this does not work, we'll introduced "conspiracy to aid and abet dunking" laws soon, announces a Nulabour, spokewoman.

  36. David Robinson 1

    @Sarah Bee

    "Moderatrix wonders if it's too early to start on the bourbon."

    Well, the risk rating for the bourbon is 3.44, so do you feel lucky?

  37. Dan 7


    "Moderatrix wonders if it's too early to start on the bourbon."

    Well as my Argentine wife keeps calling them Burbon's I guess you might be ok for a quick single......oh hell make it a double and do me one too ;)

  38. Anonymous Coward

    and what is the government doing!!!

    The government should legislate this menace from our work place what is health and safety for ???

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    This is why we need ID cards

    This is the most telling piece of evidence yet for us all to be numbered and fitted with suitable devices to control our intake of dangerous terror biscuits. Remember how we were so casual in our approach to this danger that we used to eat biscuits on aircraft? Thankfully the ID cards will prevent such irresponsible behaviour in future.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    Help yourself to a Bourbon - it's only a Penguin without the chocolate coating, after all!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Attack of the killer Biccies?

    "The most extreme example of biscuit-related mishap, however, was the case of the man who got stuck in wet concrete after wading in to retrieve a stray biccy."

    Really? I'd swear that I saw that in a commercial, somewhere.

    I'd probably a good idea if the government never fins out about this research. They'd slap a prohibition on biscuits if they knew.

    It seems strange, though, that while they talk about banning certain types of kitchen knives, and pen knives, and even restricting the sale over the counter pain killers in case peple try to kill themselves with them, and certain hair care products in case terrorists boil about a million gallons of it to make a bomb, yet they still allow cigarettes to be sold even though they are proved to kill thousands of people every year.

  42. Alan 6


    If you get stuck in concrete retrieving a biscuit, is this dilemma caused by the biscuit, the concrete or stupidity?

    Where do I apply for funding to find an answer to this question?

  43. Steve Foster


    ...where's the comparative research on dunkability???

  44. Joel 1
    Black Helicopters

    Wrong MindLab

    Looks like the research was done by The (, not Mindlab International who are a totally different organisation who are more to do with educational boardgames.

    Nothing about this on their website. Can't find anything on the Fox's website (who make Rocky) nor the Northern Foods website. So who put out this press release?

  45. The First Dave

    Translation please

    What on earth is a "common-or-garden Cookie" ??

    The rest of this reads like a UK-source item, so what is that all about?

  46. Mephistro


    "three per cent have fallen off a chair reaching for vital nourishment"

    A question for English native speakers: Does "vital nourishment" mean "a bottle of whiskey"? If that's the case, my trust in this study goes up several degrees (from 0ºK to - 270 ºC :)

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "PR companie's tricks remain effective."

    "PR companie's tricks remain effective."

    But do they?


    The fake survey got plenty of press coverage, but presumably the intention was to get coverage for Fox's Rocky bars. Now, either Rocky bars are no longer made by Fox's, or Fox's have failed abysmally to get their name in the media. Most people reading the article won't even know that it's an advert for Rocky bars, they'll still be unaware that Rocky bars exist (it reads as though the *company*, not the *product*, is called Rocky).


  48. Manas Straw

    @ Sarah Bee

    In India, Bourbon is a chocolate cream biscuit marketed by Britannia. Ties in very nicely with this article.

    OTOH, I do agree with Phil Underwood. Never too early to start on the real bourbon.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I lost a ooth on a custard cream..

    It was a milk tooth though. And I didn't get my 50p.

  50. Anthony Cartmell

    What about risk compensation?

    Now we know the most dangerous biscuits, I'd expect people to treat them with more care and respect. This will, of course, lead to fewer biscuit-related injuries for those biscuit types, and thus they will no longer be so dangerous.

    I now fully expect to see Jaffa Cakes being eaten without any thought to safety, quickly leading to overloaded A&E departments in all hospitals, house price rises and further economic meltdown.

    This sort of information should not be given to the public!!

    [PS. no-one seems to have mentioned that Jaffa cakes are officially cakes, not biscuits. doh!]

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    There's an IgNobel prize in here somewhere

    That is all.

  52. Yorkshirepudding

    wagon wheels

    does this mean these are safe? jam or none jam variety!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Custard Creams are Deadly

    Don't know about that, but I broke a tooth on one last night.


  54. Evil Auditor

    Re Bourbon and biscuits

    Sarah, it's never too early to stop drinking Bourbon and changing to proper Single Malt - any time of day and night really.

    Now I usually don't bother about an IT angle but here it's an all to obvious question: which biscuits' crumbs compromise worst a sys admins keyboard?

    EA, reaching for the Bladnoch

  55. Les Matthew

    @Sarah Bee

    "Moderatrix wonders if it's too early to start on the bourbon."

    Would that be the drink or the biscuit. :)

  56. Dave Fisher

    One in the eye for creationists...

    "three per cent ... have poked themselves in the eye with a biscuit."

    How much more proof of Darwin at work do people need?!

  57. blackworx
    Paris Hilton

    @AC 09:38

    Gee, d'you think?

  58. Neil 32

    Pink wafer

    We need to know...

    The list includes plain "wafer", but the pink wafer is in a class of its own! Does anyone actually admit to liking these abominations of the biscuit world? You only have to see what they do to other biscuits - does any other biscuit have such a contamination ability; so surely it should be scored to warn us of the true danger they pose!

    And interestingly, Wikipedia doesn't have a Pink wafer article, and my local google thinks I mean "pink water" instead of "pink wafer". The fact that these 2 esteemed institutions refuse to acknowledge the existance of the pink wafer speaks volumes!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jaffa Cakes

    I don't know what's stranger, that a company had to go to court to prove the difference between a biscuit and a cake because of the country's tax laws.

    Or that the same tax laws classify a chocolate covered biscuit as a luxury item, but not a chocolate covered cake!

  60. scottboy
    Paris Hilton

    Sue the manufacturers

    I've just been into Asda and after checking 43 packets of biscuits (assorted flavours and including Jaffa cakes, which for some inexplicable reason are not in the cake section) I found not a single one with a warning of the risks associated with biscuit consumption. There wasn't even a diagram illustrating a safe method of transferring the biscuit into one's mouth without injury. It's an accident waiting to happen. Think of the children!

    Paris, as she frequently has a chocolate finger

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pink wafer

    "Does anyone actually admit to liking these abominations of the biscuit world? "

    Er, no, horrible dangerous things. Best if you just parcel them all up and send them to me. I'll er dispose of them for you. <cough>

  62. Rob 101

    Living on the edge!

    I ignored the warning sign placed on the leftovers from the meeting and have just consumed 3 custard creams and an oat cookie type afair (possibly a hobnob) and completely failed to injure myself in any way whatsoever.

    Do I need to bring reality in line with statistics and start a food fight?

  63. Gavin McMenemy

    I've been participating in a new sport all day...

    Extreme Biscuit eating!

    Yes. We've been at the Oat , Nice biscuits and ... Custard Creams all day. We acknowledge that this new sport may have a few detractors because of its poor safety record but we Biscuit Eaters think you non-Eaters are a bunch of safety obsessed pansies.

  64. Andy G 1

    @ The Indomitable Gall

    yes but you are forgetting Garibaldi biscuits... For some reason every time i open a packet, there are only 4 biscuits in the pack!

    /feels cheated !

  65. Simon 6


    Never knew that the real threat isn't a car bomb or suicide bomber; it's a BISCUIT!

    Should we raise the threat level the next time those evil biccy-terrorists put biscuits on special offers or god forbid - TWO FOR ONE!

    This is scary stuff!


  66. Michael 82
    Thumb Up

    Big lols!

    I dunno about anyone else but I cant get the "two pints" biscuit song outta my head!

  67. John Molloy

    And I thought it was a track listing...

    Cursory glance at the rankings looked like a track listing from some weird biscuit based concept album:

    Custard Cream: 5.64

    Cookie: 4.34

    Choc Biscuit Bar: 4.12

    Wafer: 3.74

    Rich Tea: 3.45

    Bourbon: 3.44

    Oat Biscuit: 3.31

    Digestive: 3.14

    Ginger Nut: 2.99

    Shortbread: 2.90

    Caramel Shortcake: 2.76

    Nice Biscuit: 2.27

    Iced Biscuits/Party Rings: 2.16

    Chocolate Finger: 1.38

    Jaffa Cakes: 1.16

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Ban them!

    The government should make a law banning the dunking of biscuits - it clearly causes more accidents than driving whilst holding a mobile phone. What's next - banning driving whilst holding a conversation and dunking a biscuit? Restricting the sale of biscuits to those who can pass a competancy test? Are Custard Creams the most dangerous because only old people with no teeth dunk them and then when they drop them on the floor and try to retrieve them they fall over and injure themselves? Should we force manufacturers to make biscuits that do not go soft when you dunk them? Should we put a government warning label on biscuits 'Warning: may cause accidents'...

  69. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    To Serve and Protect .... :-) Hmmm?

    Is a brownie a proud biscuit or a weedy piece of cake ? :-) .....

  70. Stef 4

    @ "Not.known@this.address"

    "Sucking (hot) tea through a Peng^H^H^H certain choc-covered biscuit snack - heaven! (courtesy of my youngest sister-in-law)"

    An orgasm in the mouth according to Natalie Imbruglia being interviewed many many years ago,

  71. Anonymous Coward

    Jaffa Cakes may be safe...

    ...but you definitely want to stay away from the Goa'uld Cakes.

  72. Anonymous Coward

    Jaffa Cakes relatively harmless?

    Surely that should be Mostly Harmless?

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    two posts from

    two posts from GrahAManFromArse and I nearly understand both of them. The chemists must be closed.

  74. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    You think that's bad?

    Down here there's things called Tim Tams...

    and Lamingtons... And that godawful unmentionable marmite ripoff... And the beer don't taste right either... :(

    I haven't been able to get a decent Rich Tea biscuit here in ages.

  75. Damien Thorn
    Paris Hilton

    oh no...

    Passes a box of lincolns round as they dont appear on the list.

    Paris - more tea vicar?

  76. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Hang On, that's not Fair .... Hob Nobs at Dawn, for Satisfaction, if you please.

    "two posts from GrahAManFromArse and I nearly understand both of them. The chemists must be closed." .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 8th September 2009 14:32 GMT.

    Do yourself a favour, AC, and believe you're getting smarter. ........ unless you know different, that is.

    The implication in your post is that you only understated doctored messages, which is not a great skill.

  77. Sarah Bee's Love Slave

    @Stef 4 - 14:03

    "An orgasm in the mouth according to Natalie Imbruglia being interviewed many many years ago"

    That's not what my girlfriend says it tastes like.

    I know that Devendra Banhart looks an odd fellow, but I didn't realise he tasted strange too.

  78. Sarah Bee's Love Slave

    @ Stef 4 14:03

    The idea of an orgasm in the mouth and Natalie Imbruglia got me all confused for a moment - if Devendra Banhart tastes of chocolate biscuits then only Natalie Portman can confirm it.

    Just how does one slurp tea through a chocolate biscuit snack anyway? Unlike a Twirl they're solid.

  79. Anonymous Coward

    Agree with the custard cream..'s the biscuit I remember having coughing fits with due to crumbs being breathed into my lungs!

  80. Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    Feel free to hit the bourbon--that is unless you are one of the tragic 3% who are prone to poking their eye out with cookies. If this describes you, you had better give up bourbon for Kool-Aid drunk from a no-spill cup with clowns and cute dinosaurs on it.

  81. Steve Evans

    Tim tams...

    What about the tim tam challenge, that's an instant scolding risk if ever I saw one!

    @sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD - We can get them in Pomeland too... Along with the Polish jaffa cakes which I hate to say, are even more smashing orangey than the originals! Assuming you opt for the orange flavour of course, they have a choice!

  82. Anonymous Coward

    Jaffa Cakes

    Someone sat in an office and thought "If it goes hard when stale it's a cake, if it goes soft when stale it's a biscuit", and the whole world excepts it. Where's the scientific rational behind that? As a reg reader I want experiments, a bit of physical proof! So after 10 cups of tea and 20 Jaffa cakes, I can Categorically state that; If it can be dunked it's a biscuit, if can't it's a cake. Jaffa cakes can be dunked.

  83. Mr Brush

    @Sarah Bee's Love Slave

    > Just how does one slurp tea through a chocolate biscuit snack anyway?

    > Unlike a Twirl they're solid.

    I have had the techinque demonstrated to me with TimTams, it is surprisingly pleasant.

    * Nibble the chocolate off diaginally opposite corners to expose the biscuit.

    * Place one nibbled corner in hot beverage.

    * Suck on other corner until beverage reaches mouth, indicating biscuit is saturated.

    * Quickly scoff resulting soggy mess before it dissolves completely.

    * ????

    * Profit!

  84. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Progress ..... to Higher Levels of Beautiful Confusion

    Three Rousing Cheers for Sarah Bee's Love Slave. :-) A Plum Posting in Deed, indeed. And a Passionate Position of Obvious Obstinate Significant Standing and Seductive Addictive CodeXSSXXXXdDual Attraction ....... Mutual Mirrored Intelligence Level/Quantum Plane.

    It is QuITe Wrong to even Imagine a Love Slave as a Sex Object whenever Subjectively IT is a Delicate and Sensitive Grooming Tool for Outing the Very Best in Beings...... and Sharing with them, the Way to Future IntelAIgent Productions in Virtually Live Betas/Viral Guerillas. ... within Master Pilot PathFinder AIMissions..... with a Priceless Portfolio of Sublime ProActive ProAttractive Talents ..... Virtual Assets

  85. A J Stiles
    Paris Hilton

    The whole "cakes vs biscuits" thing

    The whole "cakes vs biscuits" thing was just an unfortunate side-effect of a stupid tax régime.

    If the rate tax had been the same on cakes and biscuits in the first place, it would never have mattered. But I suppose that would have been far too sensible .....

  86. Anonymous Coward

    Oh Thanks!

    So now some ultra-PC Nu-Labour do-gooder is going to require biscuit manufacturers to print a ciggie-pack style warning on all their packets so the poor helpless folk of Great Britain are further protected from their own inability to get through a day by themselves without some social worker watching their every move and wrapping them in cotton wool.

  87. Anonymous Coward

    Critical missing info

    Surely this article is missing a critical (and potentially life saving) piece of information - what EXACTLY makes a Custard Cream so damn dangerous?

  88. david 63

    Where do I stand...

    ...with my Tunnocks caramel wafer.

    Damn shoddy research leaving out the king of snacks...

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