It’s the cornerstone ingredient to guacamole, elevates any salad and is super trendy when smeared on toast. But before you, slice, pit and scoop you avocados, there’s another (kinda critical) step: You should be washing the peel.
Yep, according to a recent report from the Food and Drug Administration, even though you don’t actually ingest it, the skin of an avocado is basically a breeding ground for bacteria that—ew—can easily find its way into the fruit’s green flesh.
It makes sense: Think about how many avocados you handle in the search for one that’s perfectly ripe. All you have to do is slice into the peel with a knife and the bacteria (food-borne illnesses included) can transfer. (Listeria was found on 17 percent of avocado skin samples collected between 2014 and 2016, per the report.)
So, treat yourself to a produce brush and scrub, scrub, scrub your avocados before cutting into them.