FDA: Wash avocados before eating to avoid bacteria

Posted at 10:45 AM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 10:45:06-05

Do you thoroughly wash the outside of your avocados before eating them? If not, the FDA says you need to start.

They tested over 1,500 avocados for salmonella and listeria and found that more than 17 percent of the avocado skin samples were positive for listeria. They recommend consumers thoroughly wash their avocados to avoid possible contamination from the skin to the inside, or pulp, of the fruit. Luckily for us, the test found that less than 1 percent of the avocado pulps tested were positive for listeria.

"Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by the germ Listeria monocytogenes. People usually become ill with listeriosis after eating contaminated food," according to the CDC. Symptoms include fever and diarrhea in most people.

However, the CDC says pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

"Some people with Listeria infections, most commonly adults 65 years and older and people with weakened immune systems, develop severe infections of the bloodstream (causing sepsis) or brain (causing meningitis or encephalitis)," according to the CDC.