For two years from 2014-2016, the FDA (Food and Drug Association) tested domestic and imported avocados for pathogens that cause food poising. The findings affirm that Salmonella may be present on domestically grown avocados; and that Listeria monocytogenes may be present on or in both domestic and imported avocados.
- When you cut into an avocado, the knife can transfer pathogens from the skin into the pulp.
- Wash your avocados with lukewarm water using a produce scrub brush to avoid food poisoning.
According to the FDA, avocados require appropriate protection from environmental pathogens during growing, harvesting, packing and holding.
Consumers can take steps to reduce possible microbial risks related to avocados. Foodsafety.gov recommends that consumers “wash all produce thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking.” The site also advises, “Even if you plan to cut the rind or peel off the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit.” Foodsafety.gov also recommends that consumers scrub firm produce (which includes avocados) with a clean produce brush, and then dry it with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
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