It's the price foodies are paying for their love affair with the avocado. Even the great Meryl Streep has fallen foul of this most deadly of kitchen injuries.

They call it... avocado hand.

If you're not smashing it on your rye toast on a Saturday morning, you're not fully committing to brunch. But if (God forbid) you have an unripe avocado on your hands, slicing through the hard skin and getting the stone out can be a perilous activity.

Ludicrously, 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 not the result of some awful attack from a wild animal, but rather failed attempts to penetrate the hard shell of an avocado, or a slippery encounter with the pit in the centre.


Though hard figures have not yet been collated, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons is now calling for safety labels on the fruit to staunch the flow of injured patients to A&E departments.

Many cases apparently involve serious nerve and tendon injuries, which require intricate surgery - and even then some patients never recover the full use of their hand

I think we can all agree if you're forced to make a trip to casualty thanks to an avocado related injury, you need to take a good hard look at yourself and your life choices.

Then again, it's not just avocados which are potential culinary weapons.

Presenting, the definitive list of fancy folks' kitchen injuries...

Beware that molten dish of camembert being passed around at parties. Photo / Getty
Beware that molten dish of camembert being passed around at parties. Photo / Getty

2. Sourdough gum

Anyone who spends their weekends brunching will be familiar with that moment when your doorstop slice of ultra crusty artisan bread has been toasted to such a perfect crisp that its jagged corner slices your gum as you take a bite.

3. Mezzaluna finger

4. Oyster thumb

Sometimes you need your fresh herbs chopped so fine that only a mezzaluna will do the job. But beware the perils of a slippery chopping board.

You spend vast amounts of money at the local fishmongers on oysters for your Friday night dinner party, but are a few rosés in by the time you get round to shucking them.

Even if you're not three sheets to the wind, it is nigh on impossible to shuck an oyster without ending up with a stab wound.


5. Mortar and pestle wrist

Much like tennis elbow, this particular injury comes from over use, perhaps while grinding large amounts of spices for a homemade curry paste.

6. Mandolin shave

If you're making dauphinoise potatoes, there is nothing better for achieving that fine cut than a mandolin.

But get distracted for a second while slicing and you'll take off a large proportion of your palm with it too.