‘Avocado hand’: the serious injury afflicting middle-class brunchers everywhere

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Kayleigh Dray

Avocados are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful brunch ingredients to ever hit Instagram. And, as well as being positively delicious, they’re packed full of health benefits, too.

However experts have now issued a stark warning to foodies everywhere: avocados are officially wreaking havoc on our health – and not in the way that you’d expect.

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

Related injuries? Let us explain…

If you’ve ever tried to cut through an avocado with a knife (and, let’s face it, who hasn’t by this point?), then you’ll know that it’s an incredibly slippery business.

And that rock hard stone in the middle has caused many people to veer off course, accidentally slicing into their hand – and, in some cases, severing their tendons.

As a result, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons is calling for 'safety labels' to be popped on avocados everywhere.

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

Adding that he treats four people a week for avocado-related injuries, he continued: “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?”

Back in 2015, actor James Bye was rushed to hospital after severing an artery in an avocado accident.

Speaking about his injury at the time, he explained: “I was trying to get a pip out of an avocado and I put the knife through my hand.

“It went through an artery and the ligament, which makes me feel sick thinking about it.

“I’m OK, but I’ll be in a cast for a while so they are writing it into the script.”

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Strangely enough, Bye is not the only celebrity to have been afflicted by ‘avocado hand’: apparently our beloved Meryl Streep has fallen foul of the fruit as well. And Eccles has said that there are most likely countless of others, silenced by the shame of the manner they obtained their injuries.

Well, if it can happen to Streep, what hope is there for the rest of us? Maybe it’s time to ditch the avocado brekkie and focus on whipping up a plate of cloud eggs instead, eh?

Image: iStock


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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