In Depth

‘Black pudding saved my life’, says trapped butcher

Chris McCabe, 70, used sausage to escape -20C walk-in freezer

A Devon butcher who became locked in his walk-in freezer has credited a large roll of black pudding for saving his life.

Chris McCabe had gone into the walk-in freezer at his shop in Totnes when a winter gust closed the door behind him, leaving the 70-year-old trapped inside at a temperature of -20C - “capable of killing a human in about an hour”, says the BBC.

Large industrial freezers are fitted with a door safety-release button for emergencies, but McCabe soon realised to his horror that the mechanism had frozen solid.

"No-one could hear me banging,” he told the Daily Mirror. In a battle against time, McCabe tried to dislodge the frozen mechanism - first by kicking it, then with various joints of meat, which all proved too unwieldy to make an effective battering ram.

His attention then turned to a large roll of black pudding.

McCabe said he had been buying the full English breakfast staple, made by award-winning Aberdeenshire butcher HM Sheridan, for more than 20 years - and his loyalty was rewarded when the 1.5kg sausage proved just the thing.

“I used it like the police use battering rams to break door locks in,” he told the Mirror. “After a bit of bashing, it gave way and I could escape.

“Black pudding saved my life, without a doubt.”

McCabe’s close encounter drew particular attention north of the border, where Scottish media proudly highlighted the life-saving role of the Aberdeenshire blood sausage:

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