More than 150 bogus safety bans have been exposed as mere ploys by organisations to hide bad customer service or avoid being sued.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed some of the scores of cases it has been made aware of in the past year, as part of its fight back against "jobsworths" who use safety laws as a ruse to ban legitimate activities.
Among the long list of cases are bubbles being banned from a child's birthday party, toothpicks removed from a restaurant and a hotel cot bed left unmade.
Officials said people were hiding behind health and safety to cover up bad customer service or because they were afraid of being sued
Cases referred to the panel included bars refusing to serve pints in glasses with a handle, a hotel saying they could not serve burgers rare, toothpicks removed from a restaurant, shredded paper banned from a school fete, and a birthday party venue which refused to use a bubbles machine. In another case, a couple were told that a hotel chambermaid could not make up a cot bed for their son because of health and safety regulations.