Bagel Danger

Americans ate an estimated 3 billion bagels at home last year, an average of about 11 per person (this doesn’t include bagels eaten at work, where a not-completely-insignificant number are delivered by bagel economist Paul Feldman). And in the course of slicing up all those bagels, 1,979 people cut their fingers so badly that they ended up in an emergency room. By the finger-cut-to-E.R. metric, that makes bagel-cutting the fifth most dangerous activity in the American kitchen. So it shouldn’t be surprising that an array of home gadgets have arrived on the scene to prevent bagel-related injuries. The Wall Street Journal has a lively review of several of them, here. [%comments]

Eric M. Jones

Re: Top 4

I like to live danerously. Chicken, potato, apple and onion on a bagel.


RE: Joe D

You are off by 3 orders of magnitude. Closer to 1 in a thousand.


RE: Joe D

Oops, I completely misread the numbers in the article. You are correct, please ignore my previous comment.


I've used the Brooklyn Bagel slicer and it isn't great... actually had a friend cut his finger with it.... oops.

David Shulman

Although Americans eat a large number of bagels at home, I'd guess a good portion of the 3 billion are pre-sliced, à la Lender's Bagels. That would make the injury-per-slicing rate a bit higher.


The key is to have your coffee FIRST, so you're alert.


this is exactly why we need a bagel czar.

Del, Baltimore

Cut the bagel halfway towards the palm of your hand. Then grasp the top of the bagel (the part already cut), leaving the knife in the middle and continue slicing in a downward direction.

Never a cut hand or finger.

Lee, Naturalized since Y2K

Sorry if this sounds barbaric, I eat my bagels whole and uncut.

Never have problem with cutting fingers...

Stephen Schwartz

The real issue with bagels is not the dangers in cutting them, but the catastrophe of allowing anything bread that is round with a hole in it to be sold as, a bagel. While admittedly rare every once in a while the French get something right such as when they require champagnes to be grown in Champagne if you want to sell it as Champagne. Bagels are boiled before being baked and anything made any other way, whatever it might be, it is not a bagel - and selling something that is one thing as if it is something else is consumer fraud.


According to these statistics, assuming all of the bagels that are consumed at home are also cut at home, every time a bagel is cut, the knife wielder has a .00000066% chance of cutting himself. I think I'll save myself a few dollars, pay a little more attention, and continue to cut my own bagels.


Woah! I just cut my hand from trying to slice a bagel! Weird!