A riot involving 60 inmates of New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison was started by an argument - over a grilled cheese sandwich.

Members of the Dominican Trinitarians were said to be upset when their rivals refused to let them cook the snack on a kitchen hot plate.

In footage of the bloody brawl, prisoners could be seen throwing chairs and duelling with mop sticks.

The confrontation was so violent stunned officers wearing riot gear could only stand and watch.

Boiling water was reportedly thrown and eleven inmates were injured in the fight, some with serious stab wounds, according to the New York Daily News.

The confrontation only ended when both sides agreed to stop after 45 minutes.

Correction Officers Benevolent Association president Norman Seabrook said: “We don’t have the staff to break it up.

“The officers certainly can’t go in there with just three officers against 60 inmates.” A prison spokesperson said: “There is every indication that this situation could have been handled differently and that this incident went on for far too long.”