FDA warns public to wash avocados before cutting into it

The U.S Food & Drug Administration warned the public to wash the peel of avocado, even though it's not an edible part. 

Data collected between 2014 and 2016 showed that just cutting an avocado open without washing it could be hazardous to your health. 

That's because bacteria, dirt, and germs could be transferred from the dark skin to the fleshy light green flesh when you cut into it. 

The FDA study found that avocado skin contains Listeria monocytogenes and one out of five avocados tested positive. 

The researches also urge citizens to eat the avocado as soon as possible after slicing it open and to discard the peel once they're done. 

Eating an avocado this way, generally limits the amount of the Listeria monocytogenes, if present, thus reducing the chances of an outbreak. 

The FDA found the overall prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in the avocado pulp samples to be 0.24 percent and in the avocado skin samples to be 17.73 percent.

More than 1,600 people contract listeriosis annually, and people with weaker immune systems are likely to be affected – such as pregnant women and the elderly. 

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria and can cause severe illness.

Out of the 1,600, approximately 260 cases are fatal. Therefore the FDA's suggestions shouldn't be taken lightly. 

A human ecology professor at Rutgers University, William Hallman, out that even though the risk of getting listeriosis is already small, it can still be reduced. He added

"There are many more dangerous things you can do than not wash an avocado, but having said that, the rate at which the FDA found listeria on avocados was a fair amount."

Earlier this year, a North Carolina company recalled processed ham products after possible listeria contamination resulted in one death. 

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