Do you wash your avocados? Sounds like a silly question. After all, you’re not eating the skin (ARE YOU?), so why should you clean it? Turns out, the FDA has put out a report recommending you do just that.
Why? As it happens, bacteria on the skin of fruits and veggies can be dragged into the flesh (aka the part you do eat) when you cut through it. The FDA collected, tested, and analyzed a sample of 1615 avocados and according to their report, around 18% of the avocadoes tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes on their skin. Listeria monocytogenes can cause diarrhoea, nausea, fever, and in more serious cases, disorientation, convulsions, and a stiff neck.
Even though the risk of illness is quite minimal, the FDA is still recommending that you wash avocados (and actually, all fruits and veggies you eat, regardless of whether you eat the skin or not) before cutting into them. To make sure you’re guac doesn’t come with a side of Listeria, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, then gently scrub your avocado with a vegetable brush under running water and dry with a clean towel before you cut into it.