Not only are avocados a pain in the ass to peel but they’re also dangerous. There is the dreaded “avocado hand” that people get by stabbing the creamy fruit when they are attempting to peel and remove the seed (there’s even an entire Instagram hashtag #avocadoinjury that is very graphic dedicated to showing people accidentally sawing their fingers off while trying to prepare avocados). So many people injured themselves cutting avocados that the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons had to issue a warning. But there is a new danger about avocados — a potentially deadly bacteria. Avocados are tired of us devouring them and are starting their own rebellion against humans.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a scary new study that found avocados can contain listeria. The FDA collected 1,615 samples of avocados between 2014 until 2016, 70 percent were imported, which mirrored the U.S. avocado market was at the time. The study found that 17 percent, nearly one in five avocados tested positive for listeria monocytogenes on the outer skin. That’s not good because the listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis and that can kill you.
When you cut the avocado’s skin, the bacteria can be transferred to the knife and then to the mesocarp, which is the yummy green flesh. Listeria was also found in less than one percent of avocado flesh. The FDA also found salmonella, but in less than one percent of avocados tested.
Listeriosis can cause a variety of health issues, including flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Symptoms of listeriosis can include muscle aches, fever, flu-like symptoms, nausea, and diarrhea. Listeriosis is especially dangerous for pregnant women and can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery, or infections to the newborn.
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The FDA recommends thoroughly washing your avocados before you cut into them. “Even if you plan to cut the rind or peel off the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit,” the FDA warned. The US Department of Health and Human Services advised people to “wash all produce thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1,600 people are sickened from listeriosis each year and of those who get ill 260 die. Don’t die from a f*cking avocado. Wash your damn avocados.
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