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Health and Medicine

TikTok Avocado Hack Could Leave You Incredibly Ill, FDA Warns

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockMay 27 2022, 10:18 UTC
Probably best if you don't eat month old avocados

Probably best if you don't eat month old avocados. Image credit: Krasula/Shutterstock.com

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stepped in to say that a TikTop avocado tip may actually make you very ill.

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In a video, user @shamamamahealing claims that you can keep avocados fresh for a month by submerging them in cold water, opening up a two-week-old avocado as proof.

As convenient as it sounds, there's nothing convenient about diarrhea. The FDA told Newsweek they do not recommend the practice, as it's possible that any human pathogens on the avocado surface – such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella – could multiply while stored underwater.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that Salmonella bacteria causes about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the US every year.

"In addition, research performed by FDA scientists has shown that Listeria monocytogenes has the potential to infiltrate and internalize into the pulp of avocados when submerged in refrigerated dump tanks within 15 days during refrigerated storage," they explained to Newsweek. "In this case, even surface disinfecting the avocado skin prior to slicing would not be able to remove the contamination."

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Another study performed by the FDA found that Listeria monocytogenes could make their way through the avocado skin and into the fruit inside when submerged in cold water in the fridge.

So, if you try this hack and Salmonella is present on the avocado, it will grow over time and then you will be unable to wash it off before you eat a nice chicken and avocado sandwich with a side order of vomiting and the worst diarrhea you have ever had in your life. 

If you're unlucky enough that your avocado is infected with Listeria monocytogenes, you could be in for a worse ride than with Salmonella, which is already quite serious in many cases. An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year according to the CDC, and about 260 of them die.


Health and Medicine
  • bacteria,

  • plants,

  • food,

  • Salmonella,

  • Listeria,

  • avocados

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