Wash avocado before eating? According to a new report from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should, because the skin of the fruit may contain small amounts of Listeria monocytogenes.
In a report published earlier this month, the FDA announced results for 2014-2016, where researchers tested over 1,000 imports and domestic avocado skins in the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.
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Finally, the FDA noted that Listeria monocytogenes was present in the skin more than 17 percent of the avocados tested. Less than 1% was positive for Salmonella trace amounts.
"The findings of this exercise confirm that Salmonella may occur in avocados and that Listeria monocytogenes may be present in fruits or fruits," the FDA said in a report.
Based on the results of the study, the federal agency urges consumers to wash off the avocado carefully before cutting it – because a cut knife could move the bacteria into the edible part of the avocado. Specifically, the FDA recommends that the outside of the fruit be cleaned with a "productive brush" before being dried with a paper towel or a clean cloth.
The FDA also recommends that the same be done for other products, such as melons and oranges.
“Other practices related to avocado consumption may also reduce the risk for consumers. Consumers usually sliced avocados and picked the fruit pulp before eating it and throw the fruit shell when they get a banana shell or orange shell, ”the FDA added. “Consumers also eat avocados soon after the fruit is sliced because its mass tends to brown quickly after oxidation. These practices generally limit the amount of pathogen if it occurs, so that consumers can be exposed. "
Those who are exposed to Listeria monocytogenes may develop into Listeriosis infections according to the disease control center (CDC). Most people develop the disease after eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
DO NOT MAKE RAW COOKIE TIME WITH THIS DATE, CDC WARNS
“Listeria monocytogenes does not cause serious illness in healthy adults at low exposure levels. However, pregnant women, older adults, and weakened immune systems (such as transplant recipients or those with diabetes or cancer) are vulnerable to a small number of pathogens, ”the FDA said.
Learn more about how Listeria can affect pregnant women, older people, and immune systems, click here.