The number of injuries involving avocados has increased over the past three years, with the nutritious fruit costing ACC just over $800,000.

While there are numerous health benefits of eating avocados, the stone fruit also presents many difficulties when it comes to removing the pit - with people slicing and stabbing themselves in great numbers.

Last year alone, 428 people managed to injure themselves while preparing an avocado, up from 402 in 2017 and 374 in 2016.

The cost of those claims to date has risen accordingly. Last year ACC paid out $320,371 and in 2016 the figure was $232,323.


An ACC spokesman said a client's diagnosis is based off their primary injury, with lacerations and punctures coming in as the most common avocado injury.

Last year 302 people managed to cut or stab themselves, up from 275 in 2017 and 263.

The next highest claim was for soft tissue injuries, which claimed 105 victims last year, 96 in 2017 and 88 in 2016.

All up over the three years, 1196 people managed to injury themselves involving avocados.

AVOCO spokesperson said people injure themselves by attempting to prepare avocados in an unsafe manner.

"A safe method is to place the avocado on a chopping board, slice the avocado longitudinally and then rotating it in order to slice the other half," he said.

"Once the avocado is halved, if the seed is not removed easily, the avocado should be rotated again and sliced into quarters on the chopping board."

Last year the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons called for safety labels on the fruit to help reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment.


Former president of the plastic surgery section of the Royal Society of Medicine, Simon Eccles, told the Times he treated about four patients a week with avocado hand at Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals in London.

"People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them," he told the Times.

"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."

Often the injuries involve serious nerve or tendon damage, which requires surgery.