Turkey Carving Safety

Nothing says “Thanksgiving” like football, family and the enticing aroma of turkey. But every year, too many people severely cut their hand while carving a turkey. Luckily, these injuries are avoidable. Follow these tips to stay safe while enjoying your Thanksgiving feast: 

  • Never cut toward yourself. Your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving toward. Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of meat.
  • Keep your knife handles and cutting area dry to avoid slips. Good lighting around the cutting area is also important.
  • Keep all cutting utensils sharp. Having a sharp knife will avoid the need to use a lot of force when cutting, which can be dangerous. Dull knives are more likely to cause slips and are still sharp enough to cause an injury. If possible, use an electric knife.
  • Use kitchen shears to tackle the job of cutting bones.

If you cut your finger or hand, bleeding from minor cuts will often stop by applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth.

WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP

Visit the emergency room if you’ve cut yourself and:

  • Continuous pressure does not stop the bleeding after 15 minutes
  • You are unsure of your tetanus immunization status
  • You are unable to thoroughly cleanse the wound by rinsing with a mild soap and plenty of clean water

Visit a hand surgeon within a few days if you’ve cut yourself and:

  • You notice persistent numbness or tingling in the fingertip
  • You have difficulty moving or bending your fingers

     

© American Society for Surgery of the Hand 2016

 

Download this infographic.