How to Avoid a Turkey Carving Injury

How to Avoid a Turkey Carving Injury

Turkey carving injuries are unfortunately common around Thanksgiving time. 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, which means a lot of carving! Carving isn’t something that most people do regularly, so be sure to read our safety tips below to avoid an injury this holiday season.

  1. Never cut toward yourself. Your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving toward.
  2. Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of meat. This is dangerous and unnecessary.
  3. Keep everything dry. This includes your knife handles, the cutting board and the cutting area. This will help you avoid slips.
  4. Only use a sharp knife. A dull knife will require the use of force to cut your turkey, which is dangerous and could cause slips. Your knife should be sharp enough as to not require any force when cutting the turkey. Use an electric knife if possible.
  5. Don’t use a knife to tackle the bones. Use kitchen shears in this situation. They cut bones more easily, and it’s less likely that your knife will slip.

What happens if you cut yourself?

Despite these precautions, accidents happen. If you cut yourself and you’re bleeding, put continuous pressure on the wound. Go to the emergency room if the following is true:

  • 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

In the days following your cut, if you’re feeling numbness or tingling, or are having difficulty moving your fingers, make an appointment with a hand surgeon right away.

Don’t become a statistic this season! Follow these tips to have a happy, safe Thanksgiving. Learn more at

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