Should you wash and clean avocados before you eat them?
That is question we get a lot and below, we provide an in-depth guide that looks at why you should wash all fruits and also the correct way to wash them to ensure they are cleaned properly.
Should You Wash Avocados Before Peeling & Eating Them?
I know a lot of you might be wondering if avocados need to be washed? This is a valid question since most people peel the skin off the fruit before eating them.
Yes, you should always wash avocados before use, even if you will be peeling them.
Like any fruit or vegetable, avocados are grown outside and there could be anything from dirt, bacteria and possible chemicals can all find its way onto the skin of fruit after it is picked.
Foreign matter can reach on the fruit in it being transported from the farm to your grocery store’s produce section.
While it just makes sense to wash your fruit, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), highlights a good reason why avocados should definitely be washed.
In 2018, the FDA published a report, where it was found that listeria monocytogenes was found on the skin of more than 17 per cent of avocados.
Listeria causes listeriosis (food poisoning). Like other food borne germs, Listeria can cause fever and diarrhea.
The same report also found small traces of Salmonella, another foodborne bacteria on avacados.
So even though you would not be eating the skin of the avocado, when peeling the skin, the food borne germ, chemicals or other foreign matter could be transferred to the inner part of the fruit by the knife.
This is why it is important to wash avocados before you cut or peel them, as you want to make sure whatever is on the outside of the fruit, is not transferred to the knife you are using.
What to Note Before Cleaning Your Avocados?
While you are supposed to wash avocados before eating them, you want to not wash them as you get them from the grocery store, unless you are going to eat them right away.
If you wash fruit and place it in the fridge, you could cause the item to spoil quickly.
If not dried properly, the excess moisture acts a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. In a couple of the days, you will find that the avocado will begin to spoil, if not eaten in a reasonable time.
What You Should Do
- Don’t wash avocados till you are ready to use them.
- If you do wash the fruit, then please make sure that it is dried properly before being stored in the refrigerator.
How to Wash Avocados: A Step-by-Step Guide
Getting your avocados cleaned is quite an easy process, but you need to ensure it is done properly, so that all contaminants are removed from the skin of the fruit.
- Check The Avocado. Before you start cleaning, it is important to remove any leaves, stems and brush off any excess dirt that may be on the fruit.
- Wash Your Hands. Clean your hands, before you handle the fruit, as you do not want to transfer more dirt, grime or bacteria to the skin avocado.
- Rinse the avocado. You should start by taking the fruit and placing it under running water from the kitchen faucet. You should gently rub the avocado to remove any foreign material that may have found its way onto the skin.
If you want to be thorough, you can use a vegetable brush to scrub the crevices you won’t be able to reach with your hand.
- Dry the avocado. Once you have thoroughly washed your avocado, you will need dry it properly. As I stated earlier, moisture allows for the growth of bacteria and if it allows to sit, it can cause the avocado to spoil quickly.
- Read to peel/cut. Once your avocado is dried off, you are ready to place your clean avocado on your freshly sterilized cutting board and start to cut, slice and dice for your favorite guacamole recipe or meal!
Wrapping it up
There isn’t much to say, but as you can see, it is extremely important that you wash and clean your avocados before eating them.
Dirt, bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants can find its way on the skin of the fruit and even if you are not eating the skin, can find its way onto the knife you are using to peel or cut the avocado with.
Wash before use and if you plan on storing it in the refrigerator after you washed it, please ensure that it is dried properly, as moisture can cause the avocado to spoil quickly.