The avocado core must not be removed with a knife. © Paulo Spranger/Global Imagens

Eating fruit is healthy, except when doing so, we chop up a finger. In the Netherlands there are no statistics, but plastic surgeons guarantee that there are “several cases a week” and “avocado injuries” prompted the association of those professionals, NVPC, to issue a warning.

“Cutting with a knife often goes wrong, usually resulting in nerve damage,” comments Annekatrien van de Kar, a plastic surgeon in Amsterdam.

“The consequences can be bothersome and permanent. Unfortunately, the risks are unknown or underestimated by the consumer. When cutting, consumers often hold half of an avocado in the palm of their hand. If the knife slips from the avocado during ginning, it sticks in your hand. In addition, we often see that the sensory nerves in the fingers are damaged or cut. Sometimes people even hit a tendon, “warns Van de Kar.

NVPC advises removing the seed, or seed, with a spoon. In an informative video on the safest method, which the association published on Youtube, an avocado peeler is used.

NVPC expects supermarkets and producers to change the instructions that accompany the fruit or issue a warning.

In many online videos, cooks also use the unsafe method of ginning with a knife.

The Netherlands is the second largest importer of avocados in the world and although the majority is later distributed outside the country, its popularity has increased, as has consumption (40% in the last five years, according to Dutch News).

Epidemic in the USA

This domestic accident is not exclusive to the Dutch. A study from last year published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that 8,000 Americans suffer an avocado-related injury every year, to the point of speaking of an “epidemic” of hand injuries. The document calls for “education on safe avocado preparation techniques and public safety initiatives, such as warning labels, that could help prevent serious injuries in the future”.

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