Top chefs have rubbished doctors' claims that long pointed kitchen knives are unnecessary in the kitchen.
The doctors, from West Middlesex University Hospital, want the Government to ban the public sale of long knives because they are involved in half of all stabbings and, they say, too readily available for impulsive assaults.
They claim a survey of 10 chefs suggested a short pointed knife below 5cm in length (which would cause less damage in an attack) could do the job of a longer knife just as well.
Not so, claimed Michelin-star chef Michael Caines. "We know the advantage of a sharp point on a long knife to cut onions and various vegetables," he said. "If someone is intent on stabbing they can grab a cleaver or a screwdriver or a knitting needle."
"What a load of nonsense," concurred Andrew Turner, who uses 50 different specialised knives in his capacity as executive chef of London's Bentley hotel.
Turner agreed that people with violent impulses could easily find alternative weapons. "Let's ban the sale of corkscrews and knitting needles," he said. "Perhaps we should be making round-ended scissors or plastic chainsaws too."