FDA Warns Against Viral Avocado TikTok Hack

Hand holding cut avocado above cutting boardHand holding cut avocado above cutting board
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TikTok users have made videos about storing cut avocados in water, but health experts push back against the trend.

A recent viral TikTok hack suggests storing cut avocados in water to keep them from going brown, but the FDA has advised against the trend.

The FDA and medical experts have shared that storing the fruit in water can be unsafe due to bacterial contamination.

Recently, an FDA official spoke with "Good Morning America" about the potential dangers.

"The main concern is with the possibility that any residual human pathogens that may be residing on the avocado surface may potentially multiply during the storage when submerged in water," the official told the news outlet.

The expert also says that since these bacteria are powerful and can penetrate through the skin of the fruit, cleaning the outside of the avocado prior to putting it in water won’t eliminate the risk. Instead, the bacteria will just multiply in the flesh.

"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," the statement continued. 

"In this case, even surface disinfecting the avocado skin prior to slicing would not be able to remove the contamination."

Dr. Erin Carter shared her support of the FDA's warning on TikTok

"Turns out this is not such a good idea," she says in the video.

"Storing avocados this way can actually promote the growth of two different types of bacteria — Salmonella and Listeria — and can lead to poisoning with these bacteria. Infections with either of these bacteria are not pleasant. You really want to avoid them."

In addition to a fever, infection with either type of bacteria can lead to gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and nausea, according to the Carter and the FDA.

According to Carter, the best way to store avocados is in a dry environment like the fridge or on the counter.

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