When eating lunch at my desk in the office I'll be squeezing some ketchup packets out onto my sandwich wrapper so that I can dip my fries in the ketchup, and eventually, without fail, one of them will shoot out at an angle or velocity I'm not expecting and end up on my clothing. I've tried ripping bigger gashes into the packet, and while that does tend to fix the problem, it means I'm usually getting ketchup all over my fingers.

What's the best way to avoid this?

  • 1
    Live in Australia. We have "easy open" tomato sauce individual portions. They're in a semi-rigid plastic, hard on the top and soft underneath. You fold it in half, a little opening appears on the top surface and the pressure of being squeezed on the soft part presses the sauce through the opening in a controlled manner. This is the only form I've seen at cafés for the last 15, almost 20 years. I would have thought they'd be available in most English-speaking and European countries by now.
    – CJ Dennis
    Jun 21, 2015 at 12:53

3 Answers 3


Since you specifically reference your office in your dilemma, keep some scissors at your desk and snip a larger hole in the top of the packet instead of tearing a small hole

Larger hole = less pressure = less risk of "extreme velocities"


Carry something like this with you:

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(with a rubberband holding it shut, of course). You can get it out quickly and use it anytime, and you'll probably end up using it for other things as well. :)

  • 3
    Just don't try to bring it through airport security. "It's for opening ketchup packets!" isn't a good enough excuse for the TSA guards.
    – IQAndreas
    Dec 28, 2014 at 16:50
  • @IQAndreas Ha, true. Not like they're really dangerous though, compared with scissors.
    – J. Musser
    Dec 29, 2014 at 12:26
  • @J.Musser: Yes, because common sense is so prized at TSA.
    – Charles
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:09

Pinch just below the torn opening with two fingers, so that your fingers are controlling the direction the catsup is going -- ideally, downward. This works for me.

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