You might agree that throwing a party is a passion if you are passionate about it. As you get closer to the event, a hand surgeon warns you to be aware of possible cooking injuries. This includes injuries from one favorite food, which shockingly causes over 50,000 injuries each year.
Ryan Rice, M.D., is a surgeon who is double-board-certified in plastic and general surgery, as well as the chair of ambulatory Recepti surgery at Pennsylvania’s Penn Highlands Healthcare. Rice is a specialist in hand surgery, which makes up about 25 percent of his practice. Rice recently raised awareness about the potential for serious consequences from minor mistakes made in the summer kitchen.
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- Avocado Hand
Rice said that avocados are the most common food to cause cooking-related injuries. Rice laughed at the idea. Tri-County Sunday reported last year that Rice treats “a lot of hand injuries each year after they’ve tried to remove the pits from avocados.” Rice stated that there are 50,000 avocado-related injuries in America each year. He explains that often, the flexor tendon is stabbed which makes it difficult to bend the fingers.
You don’t want to go all Food Network-fancy when you cut your avocado. Instead, use a kitchen towel to protect your hands. Or, you can skip the fancy technique and just scoop the flesh and pit with a spoon.
Don’t forget to check out our 20 Best Guacamole Recipes or What Happens To Your Body When you Eat an Avocado.
- Melon Mistakes
Rice also said that melons can be a problem for summer cooking. He said that watermelon is a huge fruit. When cutting through a hard rind, don’t rush. You can reduce the chance of getting hurt by cutting into a melon’s tough rind. This will give the melon a flat edge to hold onto while you cut the rest. Some professionals recommend using plain dental floss to separate flesh from rind. You can also slice individual pieces with the same method.
To avoid bacterial contamination, you should rinse the melon after you bring it home from the produce stand. However, before you slice the fruit, ensure that the knife and surface underneath are completely dry.
The same idea can be applied to pineapple, spaghetti squash, and any other food with a hard outer surface.
- Glassware-related injuries
Rice explained that a kitchen injury can happen at any time of the year. “Washing dishes in soapy water can cut the finger or even a tendon. Gloves protect a manicure and reduce skin dryness. They also make it easier to avoid being cut when dishes are piled up after a long day.
- A delightful time
Although it may seem obvious, it is important to remember that safety and attention are critical when working with live flame. If the activity is swirling or children are nearby, it’s okay and even wise to ask guests to stop talking while you grill.
Rice also said that fireworks are the same, noting, however, that a blast injury does not take a second.