Listeria Alert! Consuming Avocado Skins Without Washing Them May Be Put You At Serious Risk, FDA Warns
As a rule, we are all encouraged to wash our fruits and vegetables and, indeed, most things before eating them raw.
For many people, though, this rule often doesn't apply to fruits that the skin isn't consumed along with the flesh. However, the FDA is asking us to rethink that habit, especially when it comes to avocados.
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Earlier this month, a report issued by the FDA strongly recommend that people wash avocados before proceeding to eat them.
The reason behind this report was that, for 18 months, a sizable portion of the avocado skins sampled and tested were discovered to have bacteria such as salmonella and listeria.
You may be asking yourself how bacteria on the tough, often uneaten, outer skin affects what's inside, but there's a good explanation for that: It's all in the knife.
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When you slice open an avocado, the bacteria potentially contained on the skin may be carried on to the flesh which you then consume.
1615 skins were tested and a whopping 17.73% came back positive for the bacteria.
Now, you may want to argue that the chances of the bacteria entering the flesh via slicing are slim, but then, 0.24% of the tested fruit had bacteria in the parts you eat. While that may seem like an inconsequential number, note that it was enough for the FDA to sound this note of warning to us all.
Furthermore, if you are considering buying only homegrown or imported avocados, the report still applies to you. The avocados tested were both domestic and brought in from other countries.
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Remember that salmonella and listeria have proven to be fatal in the past, and they are often the reason behind food recalls.
To ensure that you and your family stay safe, make sure every hard-shelled produce that enters your home is washed thoroughly before it is eaten.
A clean produce brush can also be used to wipe the produce, after which a clean towel can be used to finish the process.
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Avocados are a healthy snack, and the FDA would like them to remain that way. Washing your fruit doesn't take any time at all, so endeavor to wash up, and enjoy only the benifts they bring.