from The New York Times
Avocados may seem harmless, but if you’ve ever peeled and cut one, you know they can be more than a little troublesome. They’re slippery, they’re oddly shaped, and they have that annoying pit in the middle that rarely slips out as easily as you’d like.
These characteristics have earned the avocado a reputation as one of the most dangerous foods to cut. Just recently, the wife of a colleague here at The New York Times was slicing an avocado when she suffered a cut so deep she had to be taken to the emergency room.
Medical professionals and hospitals in the United States don’t track kitchen injuries by ingredient, but anecdotally, doctors say they see a number of avocado-related cooking injuries annually — enough to notice.
“I see half a dozen every year,” said Dr. Sheel Sharma, a plastic surgeon in New York specializing in hand surgery. “Mostly, they come with a laceration in the palm.”
Depending on the depth of the cut, this laceration can cause significant nerve, ligament, tendon or bone damage that requires surgery (as it did with our colleague’s wife, whose hospital bill was around $20,000).
Many injuries occur when people try to remove the pit. It’s easy for the blade to slip, whether one uses the “wrong” method (holding an avocado half while digging out the pit with the tip of a knife) or the “right” (gently striking the pit with a knife to embed its long edge into the stone). And, even if the pit is removed successfully, injury can still occur when cutting the avocado while holding it in hand.