Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Battle of the Bagel Slicers: Brooklyn Challenges the Guillotine; Health Care Savings Could Be Significant

Each year, emergency rooms in hospitals across the country are seeing an increase in BRI patients. Last year, 1,979 people appeared in ERs with a BRI.

What? You don't know what a BRI is? A Bagel Related Injury, of course.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal printed a front page story about the battle shaping up between the Bagel Guillotine, the 15-year-old market leader selling 80,000 units a year, and a new contender, the Brooklyn Bagel Slicer.

Dr. Dennis Moss, a 66-year-old Rochester, N. Y. radiologist, invented the Brooklyn Bagel Slicer because he believes that bagel-safety technology is open to improvement as long as the BRI menace exists. He says "If we keep anybody out of the emergency room it saves health-care dollars." Dr. Moss and his son, Michael, 36, a co-inventor, say they are against unnecessary procedures." They call bagel injuries "an epidemiological scourge."

The Congressional Budget Office has not yet weighed in on the ten-year savings expected if all BRI visits to emergency rooms are eliminated, but independent observers believe it could have a significant impact on the health care reform legislation now being debated in the Senate.

The inventor of the classic Bagel Guillotine, Rick Ricard, sees no need for new bagel slicers, and says that his invention achieved a paradigm shift in bagel cutting.

The Journal also reports that there does not seem to be any immunity to BRI among those who share the bagel's Jewish genes.

Dozens of bagel-control devices have been invented over the years. In the following video, WSJ's Barry Newman heads to Zabar's on Manhattan's West Side to try some out.