FDA warns popular avocado hack could breed salmonella

Avocado lovers may want to think twice before attempting the latest viral hack involving the fruit because it has the potential to harbor harmful bacteria, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns.

Buying avocados just to turn into a mushy brown mess a few days later is a struggle for many consumers, but a new hack circulating on TikTok claims to have solved that problem with the use of a simple bottle of avocado. water. The hack, described as “magical” by some TikTokers, involves submerging whole avocados in water and storing them in the fridge, keeping the fruit fresh and green for up to a month.

TikTok user @shamamamahealing shared his hacking attempt with over six million viewers, cutting avocados after two weeks submerged in a water bottle. The fruit has been split open to reveal a fresh, green hue. Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it is, according to the FDA. Although it appears to work, the practice could harbor and breed harmful bacteria, including salmonella, the department said. Newsweek.

Stock image of avocados.
Getty Images

“The FDA does not recommend this practice,” a spokesperson said. Newsweek. “The main concern is the possibility that any residual human pathogens (i.e. Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp, etc.) that may reside on the surface of the avocado could potentially multiply during storage when it is immersed in water.

“Furthermore, research by FDA scientists has shown that Listeria monocytogenes has the potential to infiltrate and internalize the pulp of avocados when immersed in refrigerated dump tanks within 15 days. during refrigerated storage. In this case, even the surface disinfection of the avocado skin before slicing would not be able to remove the contamination.”

Research conducted by the FDA found that the overall prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in avocado skin samples from 1,615 avocados was 17.73%. As explained, placing them in water provides the perfect opportunity for bacteria to spread and multiply.

At low levels of exposure, Listeria monocytogenes does not cause serious illness in healthy adults, but it can affect pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. The bacteria affects the intestinal tract, causing symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, chills and abdominal pain.

The FDA also found Salmonella in 12 avocado skin samples from domestically grown produce, prompting voluntary recalls and facility inspections.

With the TikTok hack comes a double whammy, as further FDA research found that immersing avocados in chilled water allowed Listeria monocytogenes to move from the outside of the fruit directly inside, which made it all the easier to ingest.

While chilling avocados in water might seem like it would make your life easier, you might want to pause to grab some airtight containers.

Last month batches of popular Kinder Surprise egg chocolates were recalled across Europe shortly before Easter after suspected salmonella outbreaks in the UK, Germany and France. And in January, the US Centers for Disease Control announced that a 25-state salmonella outbreak that had sickened 44 people was caused by contact with bearded dragons.