Washing avocados? Why the FDA recommends cleaning the fruit before eating it

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Do you wash an avocado earlier than consuming it? In keeping with a latest U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) report, it is best to, as a result of the pores and skin of the fruit might include hint quantities of Listeria monocytogenes.

In a report launched earlier this month, the FDA introduced the outcomes of a 2014-2016 research the place researchers examined greater than 1,000 imported and home avocado skins for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.


By the top, the FDA concluded Listeria monocytogenes have been current on the pores and skin of greater than 17 p.c of the avocados examined. Lower than 1 p.c examined optimistic for hint quantities of Salmonella.

“The findings of this task affirm that Salmonella could also be current on avocados and that Listeria monocytogenes could also be current on or within the fruit,” the FDA mentioned within the report.

Primarily based on the research’s outcomes, the federal company is urging customers to completely wash the surface of an avocado earlier than slicing into it — because the knife used to chop into the fruit might switch the micro organism onto the edible a part of the avocado. Extra particularly, the FDA recommends scrubbing the surface of the fruit with a “produce brush” earlier than drying it with a paper towel or clear fabric.

The FDA additionally recommends doing the identical for different produce, equivalent to melons and oranges.

“Different practices related to avocado consumption might cut back the danger to customers as nicely. Customers generally slice avocados and extract the fruit’s pulp previous to consuming it, discarding the fruit’s peel as they might a banana peel or an orange rind,” the FDA added. “Customers additionally sometimes eat avocados shortly after slicing the fruit as its pulp tends to brown rapidly as soon as uncovered to oxygen. These practices usually restrict the quantity of the pathogen, if current, that buyers could also be uncovered to.”

Those that are uncovered to Listeria monocytogenes might develop an an infection referred to as Listeriosis, based on the Heart for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC). Most individuals develop the sickness after consuming meals that’s contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.


“At low ranges of publicity, Listeria monocytogenes doesn’t trigger extreme sickness in wholesome adults. Nonetheless, pregnant girls, older adults, and individuals with weakened immune methods (equivalent to organ transplant recipients, or these with diabetes or most cancers) are prone to small quantities of the pathogen,” the FDA mentioned.

To learn extra about how Listeria can have an effect on pregnant girls, older adults and people with weakened immune methods, click on right here.

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