Doctors first warned of “avocado hand” — i.e., hand lacerations sustained while incorrectly cutting open avocados — over a year ago, after a spate of avocado-related injuries began sending foodies to emergency rooms.
“People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them,” plastic surgeon Simon Eccles told the Times last year. In fact, “avocado hand” had become so common that doctors at the St. Thomas hospital in London reportedly ready themselves for a “post-brunch surge” of avocado-related injuries on Saturday afternoons, with cuts sometimes requiring surgery or leading to serious nerve damage.
Doctors, meanwhile, have been calling for better avocado-handling practices, with some advocating for a warning sticker to be placed directly on the avocado skin.
Until then, however, the best way to safely cut an avocado is to lay it horizontally on a flat surface, place a hand on top of it, and slice into the fruit horizontally, twisting the avocado around until its separated into halves. Then, to remove the pit, wrap the fruit in a heavy towel and place it on a sturdy counter top, chop down into the pit so the blade sticks into it, and twist to remove.