Cool Tip: The Dangerous Avocado: Don't Let this Happen to You!

We love avocados...not just for the health benefits, which are legion, but for the way it just feels so creamy and luxurious in our mouths. But now there seems to be a new recognition of the dangers lurking in and around that beautiful fruit, or at least in its preparation. See this article from the May 10, 2017, issue of The Times of London….

Holy guacamole, that’s got to hurt!
Gurpreet Narwan
May 10 2017, 12:01 am, The Times

Jamie Oliver has posted a one-minute video to prevent more cases of “avocado hand”. Right, Meryl Streep also got caught out

No self-respecting bruncher would consider a late breakfast without a little smashed avocado on toast — but for many it comes at a high price.

Surgeons say growing numbers of amateur chefs are reporting to accident and emergency departments with what they are calling “avocado hand”: serious stab and slash injuries that are the result of failed attempts to penetrate the fruit’s hard outer casing with a sharp knife before encountering a resistant inner stone.

The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons is calling for safety labels on the fruit to staunch the flow of injured patients to hospitals. Many cases involve serious nerve and tendon injuries, requiring intricate surgery — and even then some patients never recover the full use of the hand.

Simon Eccles, secretary of the association and former president of the plastic surgery section of the Royal Society of Medicine, said: “People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them. We don’t want to put people off the fruit but I think warning labels are an effective way of dealing with this. It needs to be recognisable. Perhaps we could have a cartoon picture of an avocado with a knife, and a big red cross going through it?”

Hard figures for “avocado hand” have not been collated but it is a global phenomenon: Meryl Streep was photographed with a bandaged hand in 2012 after the fruit fought back. In New Zealand more than 300 people have sued for compensation from avocado injuries in the past five years. The New York Times ran an article this month headlined: “How to cut an avocado without cutting yourself” after the wife of a staff member had to be treated in hospital for a deep wound.

At Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, Mr Eccles says he treats about four patients a week with avocado hand. Staff at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, say they are well accustomed to the “post-brunch surge” on Saturdays….

Now think about how many times you’ve picked up a sharp knife to slice through an avocado and then banged the sharp edge of the knife into the avocado pit to dislodge it: all while holding the avocado in your hand. We’ve done it countless times, but now we think about the potential dangers to one of our favorite appendages.

But wait: there is no need to give up avocados, or to watch a how-to video every time you want avocado toast or to prepare guacamole, or to forgo drinking while preparing brunch. We’ve found a truly Cool Tool to deal very safely with avocados, and we can’t wait to tell you about it. Just glance here, and see what we’re talking about ....