Earlier this month, the FDA issued a report saying it is now crucial to wash your avocados before eating them, because almost 18% of avocado skins tested over 18 months showed positive results for salmonella and listeria.
0.24 percent of the avocados tested were also found to have listeria within their edible portions. It’s a small percentage, but it was notable enough for the FDA to double down on this warning. Also of note: the FDA’s samplings were of both domestically and internationally grown avocados.
If you’re wondering why this matters since we don’t actually eat the tough outer skins of avocados, here’s why it does: The knife you’re using to cut through the potentially contaminated skin can carry that bacteria into the pulp of the fruit.
In order to decrease your chances of ingesting the bacteria, Foodsafety.gov recommends you thoroughly wash all hard-shelled produce that comes through your home before eating it. You can do so 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.”