FDA Warning: Wash Avocados To Avoid Listeria, Salmonella Contamination

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(KFSM) — The Food and Drug Administration issued a report this week that warns avocado eaters to wash the fruit first before cutting or consuming it.

The report studied the presence of Listeria monocytogenes (or “listeria”) and found it to be in 0.24 percent of the avocado pulp samples, but it was in 17.74 percent of the skin samples. Another study found 0.74 percent prevalence of Salmonella on the skin of domestically grown avocados. No Salmonella was found on imported avocados, the study said.

Because of these findings, the FDA is warning consumers to wash avocados thoroughly before cutting into them, even though consumers generally cut away the skin and don’t consume it. The FDA warns that listeria on the skin could contaminate the pulp as a knife slices from one part to the other.

“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,” according to a recommendation on Foodsafety.gov.

The full study is available here.