Amputating your own finger: Big no no!

museum shots, Hellen 005

Consider this our public service announcement for the week.  My friend and partner in all things related to the garden, Hellen Polk, came very close to amputating her finger while trying slice corn off the cob.

It was a kitchen disaster.

Not only did she lose the corn, she lost the tip of her finger.  The doctor told her it was “a very clean amputation,” and she almost passed out just hearing those words.

mandolien

It has healed nicely and is even growing back a bit. That’s probably not the proper term, but the tissue is beginning to rejuvenate.

Here’s how it happened.

She was using her mandoline – similar to the one at left.  It’s a tool I’ve been coveting.  Now, not so much.

She was doing so well and it was going so quickly she decided not to use the food guard – that black little cap thingy. She was being very careful, then lost her concentration for a moment and sliced the end of her finger right off with the corn.

cut

A mandoline is great for getting paper thin slices of vegetables, and I see it on the Cooking Chanel all the time.

A food holder, or hand guard, should ALWAYS be used rather than your fingers or hands to which Hellen will attest.   This is the most important aspect of mandoline safety to keep in mind when operating the utensil in order to avoid cuts and injuries. It can also be lethal while cleaning the slicer.

I think I’ll stick with a knife – a dull one at that.

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