First lesson when destoning avocados: put down the knife

Big bunch of avocados at farmer market
Avocados are extremely popular at present. Photo:

Plastic surgeons say they are treating more cases of ‘avocado hand’, or injuries caused by people using sharp knives to remove the stone in the popular foodstuff.

The umbrella organisation for plastic surgeons NVPC does not have the exact figures but surgeons have reported seeing ‘several cases a week’ and the increase is such that a warning is in order, the association says.

Using a sharp knife to remove the pit from the slippery fruit can lead to serious accidents, plastic surgeon Annekatrien van de Kar said. ‘Sometimes people damage or even cut through the nerves of a finger and sometimes they nick a tendon. The consequences are restricted movement which can be permanent.’

The NVPC said supermarkets and producers should include instructions of how to safely destone an avocado. Number one in the list should be a recommendation to use a spoon instead of a knife, the NVPC said.

In the meantime the organisation has put a short film on YouTube showing an injury-free way of dealing with avocados.

Dutch avocado consumption has gone up 40% in the last five years but is still pipped to the post by the apple.

The coronavirus crisis also boosted consumption. ‘It was already popular before the virus hit but now people are even more aware they need vitamin C to cope with infection,’ Wilco van den Berg of trade organisation GroentenFruitHuis said.

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