Brunch, An Abundance of Injuries

Brunch, An Abundance of Injuries

The Food Standards Agency and Health and Safety Executive have a raft of legislative measures in place in professional food operations to maintain staff and consumer safety. Workers in the food industry receive mandatory training.

Unfortunately, when you embark on preparations for a sleepy Sunday morning brunch at home, regulations and controls are often disregarded or unknown. Common sense is useful and you ask yourself what could possibly go wrong?

A few eggs, sausages, bacon, toast, maybe some fresh fruit. Simple. So, there’ll be knives, cooking appliances, hot fat, a boiling kettle, an expectant other half and relations to manage but you have a chef’s apron and the barbeque is acknowledged as your domain. You’ve never failed to pour cereal and milk in to a bowl; you’re borderline professional.  A brunch will be fun, you may even score some brownie points. Always useful.

Stop! Many accidents in the home take place in the kitchen and as we grow more adventurous in our food choices and look to Mediterranean and Greek menu options, we’re increasing the injury risks. Hidden dangers lurk in the ingredients and tools.

Take the humble avocado as an example. It looks easy to work with, the stone can’t be that entrenched in the fruit, can it? A&E departments have seen a significant increase in the number of visits which are avocado injury related.

Don’t be surprised; many cooks believe that the stones require a knife-twist but avocados aren’t always amenable to that plan. Slipped knifes can cause minor to severe injuries; stitches are not uncommon. The problem has been given its own term by the medical profession: Avocado Hand.

Tendon and nerve damage are also common issues.

The matter was recently highlighted by specialist food safety courses and health and safety training company, Food Alert.

The BBC has reported on Avocado Hand’s impact on the NHS; leading doctors are calling for warnings to be attached to the troublesome fruit. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital plastic surgeon Simon Eccles told them that he deals with 4 cases per week caused by this injury. Even the rich and famous are susceptible, according to the Guardian Newspaper Meryl Streep suffered Avocado Hand in 2012.

Enthusiastic home chefs need to employ common sense, choose a spoon not a knife for stone removal and don’t sit the avocado in the palm of the hand.

To learn how you can make your brunch enjoyable, safe and free of medical care, it’s recommended that you take food safety courses with companies like Food Alert.  For example:

  • CIEH Food Safety Awareness.
  • Food Safety Induction Course.
  • CIEH level 1 Food Safety Course.
  • CIEH level 2 Food Safety Course.
  • CIEH level 3 Food Safety Course.
  • RSPH level 4 Managing Food Safety Course.
  • Health and safety courses are also available.

There isn’t a dedicated Avocado Hand prevention course – yet.

Food safety courses can be taken in a couple of hours online at basic level, at a training centre or at home. A&E staff will be grateful for your knowledge which saves them work.

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