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Meat slicer

Meat slicer

Chef: Paul Shaked, The Cleveland
Instrument of Injury: Meat slicer
I was working at my dad’s restaurant, Sofia’s of Little Italy. I used to man the pizza station and I had run out of pepperoni. The slicer they use is very big, as it’s built to slice whole legs of prosciutto — maybe an 18-inch blade. You have to use the clamp to hold the meat in place so that your hand is never in danger. Obviously, while I was busy, I totally ignored this ‘rule.’ After receiving an order and momentarily looking away, I looked down to realize that I had finished the pepperoni stick and sliced the top of my pointed finger off! It would not stop bleeding for at least a few hours. I basically had to tie it up, put on three or four more latex gloves, and finish out the double I was working. But I cut the top off in a way that made it impossible to stitch because of the diameter of the wound. The top of my finger was flat for about five months after that. I later learned that I came very close to cutting a nerve, which would have been pretty bad.

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