Accidents happen in the kitchen, they happen often and they happen when you’re least expecting them to. From the sneaky pan burns, the pop of hot spitting oil, to the sharp blade you hold exceptionally close to your digits every day.
If you’ve been working in a kitchen for any decent amount time, you will have either faced your very own injury, seen one of your colleagues have one, or, at the very least, heard other’s recount tales of the time the new boy grated off his own finger.
This is the exact idea behind a Reddit post called Tales From The Kitchen - a scary collection of people recounting some of the worst injuries they have suffered or witnessed while working in the kitchen.
This really isn’t for the faint hearted, or squeamish.
I was a stickler for making sure I did all my work by the book as a BOH cook. I made sure all my frozen items were rotated and things were properly thawed and labeled and everything was clean. But I didn't work every shift. And the frozen things came from corporate and were only a couple of items that were "secret ingredients."
So, the girl on shift before me never rotated anything at all. I ended up having this frozen tube of gravy roux I had to slice up really quickly because we were out and no one told me we were low! Well, the frozen tube slipped and I sliced my thumb to the bone. My hands were so frozen that I wasn't even bleeding for the first 10 minutes and my manager blew me off until I started gushing all over him.
Our crew was just discussing this last night, after I foolishly allowed my hand to get pulled into a hobart-type mixer when poking around with a long spatula. It crushed my hand pretty good but didn't break any bones thank god. But as for all the horror stories of injuries, 3/4 of them started with Crocs and ended with the skin of the feet coming off like a pair of socks (mostly due to the shoes filling with hot fryer oil or caramel). I've decided to stick with my heavy, clunky SAFETY shoes no matter how much more comfortable clogs are.
We had this (really fucking expensive) pizza cutter thingy that made eight perfect slices of pizza. Also did a really good job at making nine fingers. Ouch, glad I wasn't there that day.
You are so lucky. My first kitchen job I watched the grill guy setting up for lunch in a hurry, grabbed a handful of onions for onion rings (prep for the next day) jumped to the slicer and starts banging out onion rings without the hand guard...sliced his thumb right in the middle where it bends. The noise it made was so distinctive everyone in the kitchen stopped at the exact same time and looked over. We all made a sound like "grwaaah??" And then the fountain of blood shot from his hand. Everywhere. It was god awful. Sorry I have the vocabulary of a five year old.
One of my managers was expoing and went to stab a ticket on one of those metal stabby stick things. She wound up stabbing herselfbin the webbing between her thumb and index finger.
Another time my busser was polishing wine glasses and one broke, the stem stabbing the middle of his hand. I didn't witness it, but apparently blood spurted a good foot in the air. He had to be rushed to the ER and a year later it still bothers him sometimes.
Was shucking oysters (with a pretty dull oyster knife) and got distracted. The oyster shell shattered and the blade and little bits of shell went into the palm of my hand. Only needed a few stitches but running the cut under water and squeezing the blood out to make sure there weren't a bunch of particles in there was one of the more painful experiences ever
About a pint of hot butter fell on me (my right shoulder to my right wrist) straight from the oven. Thankfully my chef coat took most of the spill but my forearm was exposed. I immediately tried to wipe away the butter, reflex, and managed to see my skin move which was pretty awesome. I was working alone and called my boss to notify him and he said, "you're going to work still though, right?". Managed to finish my shift by having my arm in a bowl of ice water and wrapping it in a cold towel when I had an order.
I once managed to pull an entire shelf full of bags of fries and prepped appetizers onto myself. Then there was the time I was told to finish up dishes because the person that was doing them had to leave immediately. First time I reached into a sink of soapy water my hand wrapped around the part of a tomato slicer that has all the blades. My hand was gushing blood and it hurt like hell for two weeks.
First one was my first time boiling a fryer. Where I used to work we had to empty the fryer, fill it with water, add some special soap, then boil it for about fifteen minutes. All that was finished and I was waiting for the water to cool before draining it since the bucket would be too hot to dump. Well, I was dumb enough to try and scrape off the sides of the fryer a bit. The pallet knife slipped and splashed water all over my right hand. It was almost boiling and the more I stood there, holding onto my burned hand, the more I realized this wasn't going to go away after a few seconds. I still have a faint scar the size of a quarter on the back of my hand now and it took at least a month to heal.
My personal worst was burning both the palms of my hands immediately before a busy Saturday night service. My station was pizza/pasta. Lazy ass A-hole soux chef was stationed to my left. Instead of getting all of his work done, he would bullshit and screw around all day,. This one day he was supposed to do a demi glace and had a case of veal bones on the floor of his station. Naturally he never got to it and when the orders started pouring in, he slid the box over to my station. Im working the stove, go to turn around, trip on the case, land both hands on the steam table. Both hands blistered and that was the beginning of a most horrible evening.
S.Pellegrino and Food for Soul, the non-profit organisation founded by Lara Gilmore and chef Massimo Bottura, form a new global partnership to drive social and environmental change and promote a sustainable food culture.