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Style & Living Food and Drinks

Now We Know the Truth About Washing Avocados — And People Are Freaking Out

Do you have to wash avocados? People can't handle the answer.

By Alesandra Dubin
Top Chef Judges Rate the Unicorn Food Trend

Everyone loves avocados — except for people who hate them as a reaction to how awesome they are, or because of how unrelentingly other people talk about how awesome they are. It might not be surprising then, that Twitter is reacting strongly to news that people might not have previously known about their favorite fruit. So — steel yourself in case the answer feels like a revelation — do you have to wash avocados?

Since we cut away the skin when preparing avocados to eat, a whole contingent just assumed the outer shell didn’t need to be washed. But guess what?

The Food and Drug Administration released a report earlier this month that found that more than 17 percent of avocados the FDA tested had listeria monocytogenes on their skins.

You’ve likely heard of listeria as a bacteria you want to avoid — especially pregnant women, seniors, and immunocompromised people. The report explained that knives used to cut the fruit can invisibly transfer that pathogen into the green gold we eat inside. So the FDA recommends that we wash all produce well under running water before eating it, cutting it, or cooking it — even if you’re taking the outside layer off before eating it.

For firm produce — like avocados or melons — you even scrub them with a produce brush and dry them before cutting and eating. 

OK, that all sounds reasonable — except if you’re someone who has eaten a lot of avocados, and never washed a single one. That part is… concerning to a certain cohort on Twitter.

While another set of users found it pretty obvious — duh, right?

So chalk it up to one more learning lesson about the dangers of avocados. And if you're like us, you'll still brave any potential dangers in your quest to get your mouth on that most heavenly of all fruits.

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