Who knew bagels were so dangerous? The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Bagel Related Injuries (that's BRI to you) are extremely common, so common that inventors are busy, as we speak, trying to invent a new bagel slicer.
Last year, according to the government's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (I am not making this up), 1,979 people went to emergency rooms with BRI's. This was not as many as made ER visits with chicken-related cuts (3,463, to top the list), or injuries associated with onions, potatoes, and apples. According to the WSJ, bagels "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." Guess the hazards of wedding cakes are less obvious.
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Two bagel slicers on the market, the Brooklyn Bagel Slicer and the Bagel Guillotine, are apparently not used enough to prevent the epidemic of BRI's. Yes, people are ignoring the safer options and, gasp, using actual knives. You can, of course, buy your bagels pre-sliced--many bagels come already cut for precisely this reason. Or you could try building your own bagel slicer. Here's a historically-accurate option: build your own actual guillotine, circa 1792 France. The perfect holiday gift, especially if Sofia Coppola happens to be on your Christmas list.