'Avocado Hand' Is A New Shocking Injury That Has Surgeons Worried

The problem has become so common, plastic surgeons want to place warning labels on the fruit.

In light of increasing interest in avocado-related foods, more people have been accidentally injuring their hands during attempts to slice open the popular fruit and remove the seed.


According to emergency room surgeons, hospitals have seen rising number in people coming in with the horrific injury.

“Recently the health benefits of avocado have been advocated, with an increase in their popularity – and a consequent increase in related injuries,” said the vice president of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, David Shewring, to The Times.

Now, Britain’s Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons are calling to new safety labels to be placed onto the fruit to advise people regarding safe cutting.

Serious Injuries

The injuries, dubbed “avocado hand”, do not consist only of small cuts, however. People are causing serious damage to the tendons and nerves of their hands, which may require surgery.

“People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them,” said the secretary and former president of the Royal Society of Medicine’s plastic surgery section, Simon Eccles.

“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 recognizable. Perhaps we could have a cartoon picture of an avocado with a knife, and a big red cross going through it?”

Ongoing Problem

In 2012, actress Meryl Streep appeared with a bandage over her hand after she stated she lost in a battle with her avocado.

Figures have suggested that more than 100 individuals per year end up with avocado hand in the nation of New Zealand.

Recommendations on How to Cut An Avocado Open Safely

According to Jeff Bland, the executive chef at Balmoral Hotel, an Edinburgh-based Michelin-starred hotel, you have to put the fruit on a flat surface, and gently cut around the stone as you have one hand above, not underneath, the avocado.

Then, to remove the seed, Shewring’s method recommends:

“Wrap the avocado in a towel leaving the pip exposed. Carefully use the edge of a heavy sharp knife to chop into the summit of the soft pip, so that it is slightly buried. Holding the knife, so that the pip is stabilised, use a towel to twist the pip out.”