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Food Related Injury

I have been prompted to ask this question due to a recent situation at my work. I am a nurse and work in a major trauma unit - an interesting line of work and we certainly see some different situations that land our patients there. On my last shift I cared for a patient who had amputated their finger while making sausages - their finger had got caught in the mincing machine. Aside from withholding from asking what kind of sausages they were making to start off with, it also got me wondering how many chowhounders have seriously injured themselves in the pursuit of their passion. I myself have sliced, grated and burned myself many a time, thankfully, not seriously. Have you ever managed to seriously injury yourself in the course of cooking?

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  1. first of all. OMG for their poor finger! yikes

    i have never seriously injured myself. knock on wood. My sister splashed her front with boiling water once while draining spaghetti. thank goodness it wasn't more serious, but the poor kid (30-something) was miserable for weeks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jujuthomas

      I did that to myself when I was a teenager while I was cooking dinner wearing my thin cotton summer uniform. I dashed into the bathroom and jumped in the shower but it blistered a sizeable portion of my stomach. I also gave my foot a large burn one time draining rice (NEVER face the pot towards the front of the sink while you pour it out - if it splashes out of the sink it's going straight onto your feet!

      My mother sliced her wrist open cutting a watermelon and she had to go to the hospital for stitches.

    2. I cooked professionally for 20 years. A lot of small injuries. Burns, (steam and sugar burns are the worst), cuts, bruises, contooosions. ETC. The worst one was when I chopped the top of my thumb off. I actually went to the ER for that one, after the shift of course.

      Worst I saw was a friend of mine. I offered to help him out to the dock with a stock pot full of hot fryer oil. He declined saying he could get it alone. He slipped on some ice and fell backwards. He was out for a couple of months after that. I ran into him years later and his face had healed completely, so I guess he was lucky on that point.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chileheadmike

        And cheese burns. Never try to catch a Sicilian pizza sliding off the paddle as it's being pulled from a pizza oven. They, like peanut butter sandwiches, always fall cheese side down.

      2. My grandfather lost a finger grinding meat at home many, many years ago (he passed away in the 70s). What I remember most is that they say that he made my grandmother clean it up!

        1. Mostly as a kid, fork wounds to the back of my hand when reaching for seconds before everyone had had firsts.

          1. When I was a kid (around ten or twelve) I scalded myself miserably by taking the lid off a pot of boiling water and having the steam roast my hand and arm. I remember vividly sitting in a dark closet with no lights on because light made the pain so much worse! Since then I've learned to IMMEDIATELY plunge a burn into ice water and keep it there until I can take it out with no pain. When I do that in a timely fashion, look ma! No blisters! It works great. But that painful scald as a kid is a vibrant memory.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1

              Since then do you also turn off the light while putting your hand in ice water.

              Hey, I thought putting your burnt hand in cold water is good, but not actual ice water.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                When I put a burn in ice water, photons no longer hurt! I've tried both cold water and ice water and for me, plunging a burn immediately into ice water and keeping it there until I can withdraw it and the "photon bounce" won't hurt any more will also preclude any blisters from forming. I do NOT recommend third degree burns of any size, but I have stopped a SMALL third degree burn from forming using this method. While I have read medical treatment plans that recommend cold, I've never read anything that says cold can prevent burns from forming. I've found that out from personal experimentation and have no idea whether it works for other people too. And that says something about how clumsy I am, doesn't it! '-)

                1. re: Caroline1

                  I've put burned fingers and other parts in ice water also. My fridge is right behind me when I'm standing at the stove so I will turn around, pull open the freezer drawer and stick wounded hand into the ice. Then I'll reach around, get a bowl, put ice into and put water in the bowl. Like you I really never have a blister form if I'm able to do that.

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    I do the ice water thing also - and I keep it in there for a loooong time. It always works to prevent blisters.

                    Many years ago my sister had a pressure cooker blow up on her. She suffered 2nd and third degreee burns. on her arms and legs. It was a horrific scene. She has never used a pressure again and neither have I.

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      I've read that if you can get a burn into cold water immediately the damage will be one third as bad as if you left it smolder in the air.

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Just to clarify the burns thing, evidence does state that cool, running water is the best thing to put on a burn, as ice water can also do tissue damage. But as Caroline1 says it's really the full thickness burns you should NEVER do it for, but for superficial burns it's not necessarily going to do any harm.

                  2. Obviously they were making soylent green sausages. (Sorry... Too callous?)

                    I've remember one summer when I had a friend sleeping over in a tent in the backyard and we were baking chocolate chip cookies and I went to take the cookies out and accidentally touched the oven rack.
                    My Friend suggested putting baking soda on it. (No hunny that's for grease fires) It hurt even more after that for some odd reason.
                    I couldn't sleep it hurt so bad. The good news is that I've never burnt myself that badly since (touch wood).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bryn

                      Hey, that's my name! :) Brynden, actually, but everyone calls me Bryn.

                      Baking soda and water paste? That's supposed to help retain moisture, which would soothe the pain. But that's after you've done all that cool water stuff for a good while.

                    2. I nearly amputated my big toe when chopping garlic. The knife slipped off the counter and landed right on my left big toe. It required a 5 hour visit to the ER and an operation to sew the tendon back together. I was in a boot nearly all summer. NEVER cook in barefeet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      1. Got a hernia when I tried to lift my Aunt Mable's meat loaf.

                        1 Reply
                        1. Worst was getting startled while putting a dish in the oven. I was wearing an oven mitt b/c the dish was room temp. A loud noise in the next room startled me, I jumped and hit the top of my hand/fingers on the oven heating element. I was in middle school at the time and had to explain the blisters to my teachers...

                          Not food, but kitchen related - when I was four, I was running in the house, through the kitchen, and misjudged where I was in relation to the door frame. I caught my eyelid on the metal plate for the latch. That was my first ever ER visit. Now I have a semi-visible scar over my left eye that serves as an example of what happens if you run in the house.

                          1. My brother in law cut off the tip of his finger once while grinding meat for sausage. Had to have surgery to repair it. They had to attach the tip of his finger to his palm for a few weeks to make sure the blood supply was flowing back to his finger.
                            I dated a guy who grabbed a pot of hot water (or was it oil) as a young kind. It spilled all over his back & stomach. He has some major scars and went through quite a few skin grafts.
                            Recently, my youngest daughter was putting dishes away and dropped a glass. It sliced her palm open pretty good. It was about 2-3 inches long and about 1/2 -3/4 inch deep. Luckily there was no glass shards in it and it missed the artery. A couple inches higher & I think it would've cut her pinky off. I think the lidocaine shots they used in the ER to numb it hurt way worse than the cut itself. She's ok now, but I'm still traumatized, especially when I look at the photos.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jcattles

                              I wasn't actually cooking. I was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher, dropped a china plate and decided to glue it back together with super glue. I wouldn't be able to eat off of it, but it could hang on the wall! Pushing the two halves together while the superglue set, my hand slipped and one of the plate halves cut a gash in my thimb just above the thumbnail. I could NOT stop the blood flow! So I bundled it in about a roll of paper towerls and drove myself about a mile or so to an emergency room where I had to argue like mad to get the ER doctor to suture me WITHOUT local anesthetic because I'm allergice to caines. Poor guy. His hands were shaking so bad just trying to suture me while knowing I had no anesthtic that I finally told him that if it would steady his hands, he could give me a lidocaine shot. He laughed and steadied up.

                              Oh... And YES! The local anasthesia shot DOES hurt more than the stitches. I've had sutures both ways.

                            2. Ive had a few minor issues. Burns, of course.. some much worst then others.. Once I sliced my knuckle off with the mandoline.. on Xmas eve on my marathon of cooking.. I bled for an hour or more.. fainted.. ate some crackers and kept cooking. Most recently.. eekk. okay so this was stupid.. but I was hungry (hence making food) and wasn't thinking straight. I just had bought a new immersion blender and didnt read the instructions.. all I knew was that when I pushed the button, it blended.. so I thought if I didnt push the button, it wouldnt blend. So stupidly, I went to clear out the chunks of parnships in the blender with my fingers, obviously not pushing the "on blend" button, and ZZZZ (i still hear the sound in my head), it went off anyways with my fingers up there.. SO I ran around bleeding for a while before sitting down and passing out. I was really lucky though.. I thought I took my finger off, but the doctor said if it wasnt for my super strong nail, the blade would have chopped it off. But instead, the nail buffered it so it just kind of looked like a barbie chainsaw hacked the nail and finger up a lot. My nail still looks a little different then the rest, but I was SO lucky to keep my finger.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hungryabbey

                                A friend of mine was living in Germany many years ago when her husband was stationed there in the army. A pressure cooker exploded and burned her very badly on the arm. 25+ years later, she has no residual loss of functionality, but she still has very visible scars.

                              2. During professional food-related work:
                                Serious burns when an employee was emptying a pressure-cooking machine with a hose and accidentally let go of the end, spraying me from the stomach to the knees with hot peanut oil just shy of 425 degrees. I literally ripped my pants and shirt off in the middle of the kitchen since I could feel my uniform melting to my body and hot oil is a bitch to cool off (water doesn't always help.) I ran to the back and applied a lot of cold towels, blistered quiet well but actually didn't scar. It hurt for weeks while it was healing, especially in the shower.
                                Same job, a VERY large and heavy industrial pot fell from about 6 feet above me (storage) and landed squrely on the top of my head as it was walking through the kitchen as an employee was rotating stock. It knocked me out- I finished my shift closing the store but was still feeling "weird' the next day and an ER visit confirmed that I had a concussion.

                                Non-professionally: cut off the end of my index finger chopping basil. Stupid mistake, was watching tv while cutting...cut clean through the nail bed on an angle. I lived about 10 "small" nyc blocks (which is, I guess, about half a mile) from a hospital, so I literally RAN to the hospital while leaving a bloody trail down the sidewalk (sorry bk residents...3 papertowels wasnt enough.) Spent 6 hours waiting in the ER bleeding profusely the entire time for them to give me some shots, antibiotics and a bandaid because they cant stitch through nail. Ended up drying up and falling off in about 2 weeks and, miraculously, the nail grew back!

                                inrelated to food, but I do find it interesting that in all of my work in food service (10 years) and now as a hairstylist (sharp, pointy things and chemicals!) the worst injury I've sustained thus far is from a brief retail stint where a floor fixture fell on my foot and cut my toe open through the nail and clean to the bone for the entire length of the toe...THROUGH a leather shoe without cutting it! It was some weird pressure cut- it looked like a clean slice with a knife but my leather stilettos were completely unscathed... my toe, however, was not...and neither was my chipped bone...

                                1. My cousin has lived with scars on 40% of her body since she was a small child and she knocked a pot of hot grease off the stove.

                                  A dishwasher at a restaurant in which I worked knocked his cigarette lighter into the fryer. There was a small explosion and hot oil blew all over his front. I didn't see it happen but he was out of work a very long time.

                                  In high school we moved to a house with an electric stove with the glass top instead of the usual burners. I thought it was a good idea to place my hand on the glass to figure out which one was on. Ouch.

                                  One morning when I was working in a bakery (I am not a morning person), I noticed the head baker had walked away after pulling some trays of baguettes out of the oven. Unfortunately he had forgotten to stop the rotation within. I rushed forward to grab the trays before they hit the floor. Painful burns on both palms.

                                  I saw one of our deli guys slice most of the fatty pads from his palm and fingers when he got distracted while using the meat slicer. Lots of blood.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                    Oh dear, I hope your cousin is ok. Unfortunately my son did something similar when he was 17 months old - an unpredictable chain of events lead to him pulling a cup of coffee onto himself. That was full thickness burns to 13% of his body and resulted in skin grafts and spray cell grafts. Fortunately we have a world leader in burns in the city where we live, so he has healed rather well and the resulting scarring could have been much worse.

                                    I am also reminded of when I was in high school home economics class. We had (evil) electric stoves to cook on and one girl leaned on the stove with her elbow while it was still hot. I believe all these years later she still has an interesting circle pattern on her arm...

                                    1. re: TheHuntress

                                      I haven't seen my cousin in many years. She's older than me and I remember as a child being a little scared of her due to all the scarring. But as she got older skin graft technology got better and her face was nearly normal last time I saw her, which was probably 20 years ago.

                                  2. The big ones are tragedies. Fortunately they're few and far between.

                                    I once sliced off the tip of my left thumb while cutting a bagel in a hurry with a serrated blade. The slice was maybe a quarter inch thick, and took months to heal. It would probably have been better if the cut had come from a clean edge.

                                    Another time, I filleted my middle finger on a tuna can lid. Removed a flap of skin and meat between the second and third knuckles, right down to the bone. The parts got sewn back together, but the nerves were severed, too - the tip of the finger still has no sensation.

                                    As my dad used to say, you're not really a carpenter until you've run a finger through the saw. But if you run enough fingers through the saw, you're not a carpenter any more.

                                    1. I was still in grade school when I darted between my mother and the collander in the sink, causing her to slosh the better part of the pasta meant for dinner down my back. I don't think she had even finished screaming before she pulled my shirt over my head and began spraying me with cold water from the tap. I remember feeling like I couldn't breathe from the pane, and that there was spaghetti all over the floor. I was very pink for awhile, but blistered not at all, and have no scars. The sound of her cry makes that memory stand out far above others.

                                      I worked in a cafe, and the owner had just made herself a cup of tea, using water from the reservoir. The water was 180 degrees F. We turned toward each other at the same moment, and the contents of the tea were poured down the front of my dress. "Are you okay? Are you okay? Talk to me!" she yelled while I just stood there. "I'm fine," I said finally. "Maybe you should have the machine checked." We both started giggling, and I then became convinced I had a super power. I was impervious to hot water. Not as good as flying or mind-reading, but you use the hand your dealt.

                                      I think it was less than a month later that I was rushing around like a fool duing my opening shift, and became aware that I had brought the soup to a hard boil (instead of a simmer), and I frantically and enthusiatically stirred the boiling soup right out of the pot and onto my chest and left shoulder. I remember the pain, and the sight of the kale stuck to my shoulder, like a very painful poultice. That caused blisters and a bit of scarring. Maybe kale is my kryptonite.

                                      I've had all manner of other injuries, burns and cuts, usually resulting from a hurried pace. The last time I got my left index finger with my peeler, it took off a curl of skin, but neither hurt nor bled. I think nerve damage, rather than super power, though.

                                      1. Yes. Several injury. One burning injury. I turned on two stove. One is heating the pot, but the other one is wrong and is actually heating the handle of the pot. When I realize it, I turned off the stove and grab the pot by the handle and lift it. It wasn't until I lift it away that I realized the pot handle was very hot, but I couldn't just drop it because pot was filled with very hot liquid. I bit in and put the pot back to on the stove. Probably only 1-2 extra second, but it seems forever and it burnt my left hand. I were in pain, and it took more than a week to heal. Skin peeling and all that.

                                        The other one is more serious. I basically cut through my fingernail and when I got to the ER, they decided to rip off that fingernail. The surgery was painless because of the anaesthesia, but the pain kicked in afterward. Ouch.

                                        1. I got second degree burns making pea soup. It was so thick that when it spilled on my hand it didn't run off and just sat there cooking my skin.

                                          1. I got 3rd degree burns, and ended up with my fingers in braces and my arm in a sling for weeks due to a stupid move with one of those small backyard smokers.... the kind that look like capsules and have a side window for looking in and checking on the fire midway down. Yeah, well the fire wasn't going so well..... in fact.... thought it was out... and I don't really want to admit what i did next. But the good news, is despite them lining up appointments for a plastic surgeon for me, none was needed and you can't even tell it today unless you know what you're looking for.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                              You put lighter fluid on it is my bet.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                yep squirted it right in that little window with the lid on top..... man... fire came out like a flame thrower..... in my defense... I was a little drunk at the time.... it could have happened to anyone....

                                                seriously, why hasn't Food Network hired me yet... I'd be more entertaining than a gay man on skates....

                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                  They probably couldn't afford the insurance premium.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    probably not... I remember a lot of that crazy silver cream .... and a week with my right hand/arm in a sling.... and at that time i made my living writing.... was NOT a good time.However, it would be an AWESOME show......

                                                  2. re: Firegoat

                                                    Fire and alcohol--such a natural combination and yet so deadly. I'll bet it would be a Food Network hit, or maybe a Bravo hit.

                                              2. In the course of cooking... yes, there've been the slices and the burns (some left pretty significant scars and there's no pain worse than burn pain, in my own experience).

                                                The worst was when I was very young and was brand-new in a very busy restaurant kitchen. I was lifting souffles out of the 450-degree oven and was startled. A good three square inches of flesh came off of my right hand after I pressed it to the top of the oven's roof. I didn't care for it very well (the chef put butter on it... not ice) and it got infected and I needed a 2-week protocol of dressing changes and anti-biotics... I still have a scar that looks vaguely like orange-skin (only not the color) on that hand. I've never burnt myself again in a commercial oven (at home, when "relaxing," that's another story -- there've been plenty of little scrapes and burns here and there).

                                                My most serious injury wasn't cooking; it was *eating.* I'd been on the road coming back from a one-day New York-Boston-New York trip. I'd stopped in Newtown Connecticut to get a sandwich at a 24-hour diner. I couldn't choose between a turkey club and a burger, so I got both. I started eating behind the wheel, and balancing a cup of coffee to boot.

                                                I was so incredibly tired I took the exit off of I-84 to head to my folks' house in Ridgefield, Connecticut, to beg a nap in their guest-bedroom. Instead of taking Route 7 I took the "back road;" a treacherous passage called Ridgebury Road.

                                                At some point I spilled my coffee on myself, balancing it with the sandwich. Then, as I was mopping up the soda with a napkin, I noticed the hamburger had come out of its wrapper and was oozing ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard all over the upholstry of my (relatively new) car. The cruise control in the car was set at 45. I turned aside and the next thing I knew I woke up in the hospital.

                                                I'd destroyed the car and -- worse -- because I wasn't wearing a seat belt (this was 1990) I'd been propelled into the windshield. Among the things that probably saved my life were the energy-absorbing steering wheel and also the enormous rear-view mirror containing all the electronics for the auto-dimmers and the map lights, etc. The scars on my forehead are still visible. If I'd not "hung up" on that mirror, I'd have been propelled into the mess that the front end of my car and a sturdy Maple tree, combined, made.

                                                And dammnit, I loved that car. Go figure, I don't drive when I'm very tired anymore, but I still eat behind the wheel.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: shaogo

                                                  "I turned aside and the next thing I knew I woke up in the hospital."

                                                  Wow, really? You don't even recall the impact, huh?

                                                  1. re: shaogo

                                                    I must admit that I'm yet to see someone come to trauma for dropping their hot coffee whilst driving - though I am sure it does happen.

                                                    1. re: TheHuntress

                                                      There's a well-known case of a woman who got third-degree burns over six percent of her body (including thighs, buttocks, and genitals) from a cup of coffee. The vendor eventually agreed to turn down the thermostats on its coffee urns, but over 700 people sustained serious burns - and the Shriners Burn Institute got involved - before that decision was made.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        Ya, I was aware of these cases, it's just more often these people go to the burns unit, rather than trauma. We take multi-systems injuries and as a rule don't take on the burns patients, so I don't get to see much of that kind of thing. Just the sausage makers :)

                                                    2. re: shaogo

                                                      The oven incident reminds me...

                                                      I used to routinely brew beer in a kettle made from a converted keg. Cooked the wort over a 210,000 btu propane burner. Once, after draining the wort and rinsing the kettle, I grabbed the top and bottom rims to dump out the contents.

                                                      The top rim was no problem. It was at room temperature. The bottom rim, on the other hand, had retained more than a fair amount of heat from the burner. The sizzle and the smell when I grabbed it were exactly the same as a steak hitting a hot pan.

                                                      The nurse practitioner at the urgent care clinic - a former Army medic - said that it was possibly the most painful burn he'd ever seen. It was on the palm - a sensitive area - and was very nearly (but not quite) severe enough to kill the nerve ends.

                                                      Since that time, I've kept a tube of silver sulfadine cream on hand at all times. Beats the hell out of butter.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        That cream is amazing! I used it on a nasty burn on my leg. There's barely a scar, just a small discoloration.

                                                        1. re: jcattles

                                                          Avoiding scars is nice, but It's the pain I could really do without. And that stuff is like magic in a tube - takes things from unbearably excruciating to merely uncomfortable in no time flat.

                                                    3. There was of course the butcher who backed into his meatgrinder and got a little behind in his work.
                                                      Hansel and Gretel have been advised by counsel not to comment while their case is still pending.

                                                      1. I am very interested in BBQing and smoking so I spend a fair amount of time on BBQ forums. There is something about being a serious BBQer that requires you to have a) a professional meat slicer and b) an illegal still. Those guys are constantly cutting their fingers off taking their slicing blades out of the dishwasher when they are extremely hungover because of some improperly decanted homemade gin.

                                                        1. i've had my share of relatively minor cuts, and burns from steam, boiling water and hot pans...but the worst, by far, was when i dropped the glass blender jar on the kitchen floor and it basically exploded on impact, sending glass flying everywhere. a big shard manage to wedge itself right into the side of my foot, just below the ankle. i wrangled it out, disinfected the wound, and bandaged & taped it up enough to stem the bleeding, so i decided not to bother going to the doctor (i'm stubborn like that). i think more than anything i was upset about the wasted batch of squash soup that had been in the jar, and the MESS it left that i had to clean up! i took it easy for a few days and the gash healed, but a couple of weeks later i started getting sharp pains in my foot behind where the cut had been, so i finally went to the doctor. he took some films and discovered that there was still glass in there. oops :) he had to cut it open & remove the glass, and stitch me up.

                                                          1. I have had two sort of major food accidents in my life...both of which occured as a child...both of which were also caused by my own incredible stupidity!
                                                            But hey - I was just a wee thing.

                                                            One time when I was 10 I decided to carve a pumpkin for Halloween...I have no idea where the parental supervision was - Anyway somehow I was trying to slice into the top bit and for some reason I thought I would get a better grip on the knife if I wrapped my fingers .....around the BLADE.
                                                            Yup - four of my fingers required stitches. Ouch.

                                                            The first big mishap was done when I was really young and my brother was mixing up some chocolate pudding...I was curious so I decided to stick my head in the bowl...
                                                            while the mixer was still on!
                                                            Ouch again...there was hair and pudding everywhere!
                                                            I had really long curly hair at the time and a HUGE chunk of it was now mixed in with the chocolate pudding...and there was chocolate pudding where my hair should have been!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                              OMG. The pudding.. the blade.. oh man.
                                                              I thought I had a stupid blender-type incident.. but head.. in .. bowl.. while ON...
                                                              well, I guess you were really young.

                                                            2. Here's an interesting one for you (and a warning to fellow readers):

                                                              Do not try to pop frozen blocks of food out of a flimsy Glad-type food containers! I did that, hitting the upside down container on my kitchen counter and it shattered, giving me a nice little gash across my wrist. It was really shallow and healed ok but it could have been different. Next time I'll either let it defrost more in the container, or put it in some water to help it along.

                                                              1. here's my story. you can laugh if you want.

                                                                one morning i was preparing breakfast and wasn't paying enough attention. i cut my finger badly while cutting a bagel. apparently i'd cut a vein which won't stop with just a band aid. after about 15 minutes of non-stop bleeding, i put my right foot down out of frustration and proceeded to snap my Achilles tendon. so, after several stitches in my finger and the repair on my leg, i was out of work for the next 11 weeks!

                                                                NO FUN!!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. When I was 16 I worked as a dishwasher at a nice restaurant. One night after putting away some stuff at the wait station one of the waiters jokingly pretended he was a bull since he saw a towel draped over my left arm. So in true matador fashion I sidestepped his charge. Unfortunately my right arm pressed against the exterior of a bun warmer. I looked quickly at my arm in time to see the steam still coming from my skin. Still have a scar from that bullfight.

                                                                  Another time one of the owners was screaming about the kitchen not being clean. So with my infinite wisdom of youth I filled a mop bucket with hot water, bleach and Lime-Away. Kids don't try this at home. I quickly realized that it wasn't a good idea when noxious green colored gas started rising out of the bucket very quickly. Needless to say the kitchen had to be evacuated and shutdown for a bit while the exhaust fans sucked out the poisonous fumes. I'm not sure how long it was shut down that night since I had to make a trip to the ER for oxygen. To this day certain chemical smells make me head in another direction.

                                                                  1. Back in the distant past, our engineering department had a food dispenser, and some of the item were heated. One person bought soup, and then brought it into the work area, where he proceeded to pop the top, in the face of another employee. The hot soup shot out, striking that person square on, and at about 200F. Stupid, but some of these folk stuck all sorts of things in the old "radar ranges," in the dining area, with some tragic results.

                                                                    Since my wife is the CEO of the largest Level 1 Trauma Centers in the SW, we hear of many incidents. Obviously, HIPPA precludes some details, I still hear of some very odd, and tragic food-related injuries.

                                                                    I understand your post.


                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                      As long as there are no "identifiers" - http://www.med.uvm.edu/research/TB1+R... , you can tell away! (Many years in health insurance speaking)

                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                        I appreciate your understanding - I come home with tales of the weird and the wonderful and quite often scratching my own head as to whether what happened at work was completely real. But that is one of the reasons I love trauma so much. It is unfortunate that people either land themselves there due to either their own stupidity, the stupidity of others (as in the case of your colleague) or just sheer bad luck. Here in Australia we don't have HIPPA, but the same rules pretty much apply. Which is why I can say I was sad to see my sausage making friend back as an in-patient last night as he now has an infected wound. I just hope he continues to pass on his family sausage making traditions and not let it die out due to his injury.

                                                                      2. After over 20+ years of making dark, high heat roux, I splashed some of that "Cajun napalm" from thumb to just above my elbow when adding onions to make a pot roast gravy. I finished adding the rest of the onions (duh), because I didn't want them to cook unevenly before I starting running cool water over the area from the top. Thank goodness for a large, juicy Aloe Vera outside the door. The marks, ranging from little blisters to lines, looking almost like skipped rocks, and two weeks later they still look pretty odd. Moral of the story, keep the mis en place where it's always been, not two steps away and wear long sleeves like a grown up.

                                                                        PS: I want me some of that sulfadine cream!

                                                                        1. Well, back when we were in high school, a friend was hanging around with the guys on Saturday night and ended up going to the ER because he got an M&M stuck in his ear. I wasn't there when it happened so I don't know what, exactly, led up to this - I can only imagine...

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              Nice. I think what I love most is how many of us continue to hold on to the agonisingly hot pan and sustain burns injuries in order to not drop the food. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one...

                                                                            2. my sister got a green pea stuck up her nose when she was 10