With Thanksgiving right around the corner, your mind is likely filled with thoughts of stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and of course, turkey! Turkey is a tradition that fills the tables and plates of most Americans this time of year, but it can also mean urgent cares and emergency rooms filled with knife injuries. To help keep your holiday at home and out of the hospital, we’ve gathered a list of some of the most important safety tips you need to remember when it comes time to carve the turkey!

Watch Where You Cut

Be sure to cut in the direction opposite of you, never towards yourself. Your other hand should be in the opposite direction of the knife as well. Be sure never to hold a hand under the knife to catch a slice of turkey. Instead, place a plate or platter under where your cuts are made to capture the cuts safely.

Keep it Dry

As you cut the turkey, it can be a challenge to keep the handle of the knife and the cutting surface dry thanks to all of the turkey juices but take the extra time between cuts to keep it dry for your own safety! Many injuries occur each year from a slippery knife handle or cutting surface causing the knife to go out of your control.

Sharpen Your Knife

Before you begin carving the turkey, take some time to sharpen your utensils. Dull utensils will cause you to force the knife through the turkey as you cut. Those forced cuts can quickly lead to the blade slipping and causing a severe injury. Properly sharpened utensils should slice through the meet with ease, never needing you to force them along the way. Remember, those freshly ground utensils will make it very easy to cut yourself so following the rest of the safety tips on this list is essential!

Invest in An Electric Knife

Electric knives are the safest option for carving a turkey. You’ll be able to carve the turkey quickly without putting your safety at risk. You should still cut away from yourself on a dry surface and ensure the blade is sharpened, but an electric knife requires much less hands-on cutting.

Adults Should Do the Carving

It can be tempting to involve children in certain holiday traditions, such as carving the turkey, but their safety should outweigh that temptation. Adults should perform all cutting, carving, and chopping as the meal is prepared. If you want to involve your little ones, give them a safe and secure job in the kitchen to keep them busy!