12/24/2014 02:12 EST | Updated 02/23/2015 05:59 EST

Underdone chicken complaint not proper use of 911, RCMP says

A call to 911 about undercooked chicken being delivered from a restaurant in North Battleford, Sask., has led RCMP to remind people when it is — and isn't — appropriate to call police.

An elderly man in North Battleford called 911 to report the chicken he ordered from a local restaurant Tuesday around 9 p.m. CST wasn't fully cooked.

Police say he was frustrated the delivery driver wouldn't come back to look at the chicken. Uncooked chicken is generally regarded as a potential health hazard.

"There (are) no laws broken with the cooking of chicken, and our advice to you would be not to shop at that location," said Sergeant Amber Clark.

Clark said calls like these are an incorrect use of 911, and it's important for the public to understand how they affect workload.

"We understand that in this person's life this may have been the most important thing going on at that time, however in our life as a police officer and the duty that we do, there are other things going on that may be of greater priority that have to be dealt with."

Police followed up with the man and explained 911 should only be used in life-threatening emergency situations.

Calls like these are not unusual for RCMP in North Battleford, and Clarke says it is good for people to see what a day in the life of a 911 operator is like.

Out of cottage cheese

To be sure, while calls like these tie up time, they do lighten up what can be an intense job, she said.

"One of the things that make this job so fun is just the variance of calls we do receive. You never know what is going to happen next," said Clarke.

She recalls a complaint police received in October from a woman who was upset a grocery store was sold out of cottage cheese.

"You can't help but chuckle, and then explain to the individual the importance of usage of 911."