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Why you should wash those avocados

(AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda)
(AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda)
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Some important advice for avocado lovers – don't cut it, until you wash it. Harmful bacteria could be on the peel.

In fact, a recent sampling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that one in five avocados had Listeria bacteria on the peel.

"People think that because they don't eat the skin of an avocado, it's OK to just cut a knife through it, eat the inside flesh and not have a problem,” said Judy Simon, a registered dietitian and nutritionist with UW Medicine. But listeria and salmonella bacteria can live on the skin, and when you cut the knife through the skin that bacteria can now enter the flesh that we are going to eat."

This same sort of bacterial contamination can happen with all sorts of produce that have skins we don't eat, such as watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon. There’s no way to tell if bacteria on the skin, so you should assume there is.

"Rinse off or even use a soft brush on the skin of the avocado, the melon, the fruit or the vegetable. Wash it off with a towel or paper towel and then go ahead and eat it,” Simon said.

Clean hands are also important. It's a simple and easy way to reduce the risk of food borne illness.

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More Info: Eat avocados without washing them? That's an avoca-don't, FDA says

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