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Do You Need to Wash an Avocado?

Two halves of avocados are seedless, and one still has the seed.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

You grab your avocados from the grocery, bring them home, set them on the counter, and when it’s time to make guac or top off a salad, you cut right into them. But should you be washing them first?

While it might not be the most well-known bit of food safety advice, the Food and Drug Administration does recommend that you clean avocados before eating.

Since the fruit has a shell that you don’t eat, why do you need to wash them? That’s due to the prep portion of snacking on the produce. See, when you use a knife to cut into an avocado, it comes into contact with the skin.

If there are any bacteria or germs on the skin (listeria and salmonella have both been found on avocados in the past), they then come into contact with your knife which is sliced through the flesh. Boom, you’ve transferred the bacteria and germs into the part of the fruit you will be eating.

Since you now know you should actually be cleaning your avocados, what’s the best practice?

Just like with other produce, you’ll wash the avocado with lukewarm water, forgoing any sort of detergent or produce cleaner. They could seep through the skin. While you don’t need to scrub with other fruits, avocados are firm, so you should also use a produce brush to gently scrub.

OXO Good Grips Vegetable Brush

Give that produce a thorough clean.

Dry your fruit with a clean cloth or paper towel, and then you’re ready to make guacamole.

After your next trip to the grocery store, you’ll want to leave those avocados out to be washed. When you’re done, don’t forget about this simple storage hack that’ll keep them ripe longer.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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