Dangerous kitchen tasks: Should avocados come with a warning label?

After reading about a UK doctor who sees so many patients with “Avocado Hand” that he wants avocados to have a warning label, I started thinking about the most dangerous tasks in the kitchen.

Just last week, I was recently tweeting with someone about the mandolin versus Microplane as the most dangerous tool, but when I read that avocado story this morning, I realized that my biggest fear is actually peeling potatoes.

RELATED: Should I buy two small avocados or one big avocado?

I hate using vegetable peelers on round surfaces, so I’ve nearly stopped peeling potatoes altogether. If I really need to peel a sweet or regular potato (or a hard winter squash), I will cut it in half (around the diameter, not lengthwise) then use my chef’s knife to slice little strips of the skin off.

Avocados have a big, round seed in the middle, which can be difficult to cut around, but not more difficult than a mango, which has an oblong seed. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

I’ve always loved cutting up avocados. There’s something satisfying about rolling the knife around the seed and then slicing little strips into that soft green flesh, but a friend of mine who is a nurse (and who knows how I cut up avocados) also said that she sees more hand injuries than you’d think because of botched avocados.

Man, I’d hate to think of what those hands would look like trying to cut up a mango. But what about cutting up a pineapple or a watermelon or mincing herbs? Or grabbing the hot handle of a cast iron skillet or pulling a roasting pan out of the oven? I just cooked steaks last night and almost singed my eyebrows trying to clean the grate (Note to self: don’t allow the oil to drip into the hot coals), a scenario that just about any of us who has used a grill or barbecue has experienced.

Seems like there are a million ways to hurt yourself in the kitchen, but are avocados the worst offender? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

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