Building a better slicer

You like bagels? Yep, me too. If you are like me, you tend not to buy the pre-bagged, pre-cut versions, and go for the fresh (uncut) versions. Ever cut yourself while slicing them? Me,? Not so much (I’ve cut myself while cutting other things, not bagels). Still there are — apparently — a large number of people who do just that, cut themselves while slicing bagels (yes, we’re talking about you, Ed).

According to The Wall Street Journal:

In 2008, according to an analysis of fingers cut by knives as reported in the government’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, 1,979 people appeared in ERs with a BRI [Bagel-Related Injury]. Chicken-related injuries (3,463) led the category, but recorded bagel injuries were otherwise exceeded only by potato, apple and onion injuries.
[Bagel Guillotine]

Bagels, in fact, were implicated in more finger cuts than pumpkins (1,195) or cheese (1,236). Fewer than 100 incidents in 2008 involved turnips; ditto for wedding cakes.

(Of course, many BRI victims skip ERs and go to urgent-care offices. Or they stay home and eat breakfast anyway.)

Bagel__slicerI worked in a professional kitchen for a number of years as a short order cook, and one of the first rules of the kitchen (right after “the stove is hot” is “knives are sharp.” This is important to know. (An important corollary is that you don’t attempt to catch a falling knife. Trying to stop whatever just used to be in your hands from hitting the floor is a natural reaction. It is not really something you want to try with something that has a sharp end.)

Anyway, I just wanted to alert you all to this:

“Whenever you put a knife in a person’s hand, it’s an issue,” Mr. Ricard said. “People don’t know how to use knives.” It was this insight, which came to him while he was chopping wood 15 years ago, that led to the guillotine’s self-contained blade.

The breakthrough gave rise to a new era in bagel-safety — and a multitude of competing contraptions, most of which have flopped. Mr. Ricard has collected a bunch — from the “Bagel Wizard” with three handles for two hands, to a Ginsu slicer that resembles a slot machine. All operate on the principle that pushing an unreachable blade into a bagel beats sawing a bagel in half.

Knives are sharp, and if you don’t handel them proberly while cutting stuff (especially bagels) you could (and probably will) cut yourself. (Right Ed?)

The Perfessor

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The Perfessor

Writer with Attitude, and things to say!