Sharpen your knife skills to avoid injury while making holiday meals

Caption
We were live at The Art Institute of Atlanta with chef Fuyuhiko Ito of UMI- Sushi Buckhead. He walked us through his knife skills and made a specialty sushi dish.

Mayo Clinic experts, including its executive chef, offer advice

The kitchen can be a chaotic place during the holidays. With all of the cooking, baking and food preparation, kitchen knife mishaps can occur.

Mayo Clinic experts weigh in on how to avoid an unnecessary trip to the emergency department for a kitchen knife injury.

ExplorePulse: a digital magazine for nurses in the Southeast

People tend to do a lot more cooking around the holidays, and all of that chopping and carving in the kitchen can lead to more hand injuries.

“We’ve had patients who have, unfortunately, stuck a knife through their hand as it slipped,” said Dr. Sanj Kakar, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon. “So we see a lot of these injuries happen over the holiday season.”

Kakar said kitchen knife cuts can be serious, even devastating.

“In the hand, you know, it’s very complicated. We worry about injury to bones, hand fractures, but other things, (such as) if we cut the tendon, which is the rope that moves our hands and fingers, or nerve injury or even blood vessel injuries.”

ExploreHolidays in Atlanta: What to do, buy and eat this season

Before you take a stab at carving up that tough autumn vegetable, make sure you’re using the right technique. Mayo Clinic executive chef Jen Welper explained a common mistake people make while using a knife:

“Don’t go straight down with your knife. Just kind of already make contact inside of it, and then help push down,” Welper said.

She added that using sharp knives to drive into what you’re cutting will not only require less pressure but also can help keep the food or knife from slipping.

Some other tips to avoid hand injuries include:

  • Slice away from your hand and keep your fingers clear of the blade.
  • Never use the palm of your hand as a cutting board.
  • Keep your eyes on your cutting. Avoid distractions and alcohol.

For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.