A diner at a hotel in northern England was refused a toothpick on health and safety grounds, The Sun reported Friday.

Former headmaster John Freeman, 63, wanted to remove a piece of meat after eating out with his wife Jan.

But a waiter at the Macdonald Portal Golf and Spa Hotel in Cheshire told him he could not have the "potentially dangerous" implement.

"I told the manager there were 14 very dangerous metal forks on my table that had been unsupervised for at least two hours," Freeman said.

"She agreed it was ludicrous but was following head office directives that toothpicks are potentially dangerous."

However, a spokeswoman for the Macdonald Hotels chain told NewsCore there was "not much truth" to Freeman's account.

"There's no ban on toothpicks at Macdonald Hotels," she said. "There were simply no toothpicks available on the night."

SOURCE LINK: The Sun