FDA issues new guidelines for washing avocados after listeria finding

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(WTHR) — After recent FDA sampling found a significant presence of listeria on the skins of avocados, the agency is suggesting consumers was all avocados before cutting or eating.

The FDA tested more than 1,000 domestic and imported avocados for salmonella, listeria and E. coli. While less than 1 percent of the avocado pulps tested contained listeria, more than 17 percent of the skins tested did.

The testing included 361 skin samples; 64 were positive for listeria. The bacteria was present in both imported and domestic avocados.

For most healthy people, listeria is not a health threat in low levels. But for pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, it can be dangerous.

Foodsafety.gov recommends washing all produce —including the skin — before eating or cutting into, even if you're not planning to cut the skin off. The bacteria could be transferred from the knife to the fruit.

It's best to use a produce brush to clean produce firm enough to withstand it.

For more information on the samples and safety guidelines, click here.

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