FDA Warns Against Dangerous Viral Hack For Keeping Avocados Fresh

Sarah Kester
Avocado cut in half
Unsplash | Irene Kredenets

The internet is fully stocked on food hacks.

Some are brilliant ⁠— like the easy way to fill a taco and a lazy way to avoid doing dishes. Some, however, are downright stupid ⁠— and potentially even dangerous to your health.

That's the case with a viral hack for keeping avocados fresh. With the potential to make you sick, the FDA had to step in and warn people.

Holy, guacamole!

If you're looking to elevate your culinary game, you don't have to look far.

Woman cooking
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So many amazing hacks have come from the 'Tok, TikTok, that is. Everyone from professional chefs to home cooks to regular folks has taken to the app to teach viewers new tricks.

Like this hack that lets you hull strawberries with a straw.

This makes sense, considering that the word "straw" is literally in the name. You simply take a reuseable straw and insert it through the bottom of the strawberry. Push up and this removes the core and stem in one go.

It really is that easy!

someone shouting amazing
Giphy | Bachelor in Paradise

Now you can be outside sipping a strawberry cocktail instead of hulling big batches of strawberries inside the old-fashioned way.

Another smart food hack lets you peel an orange without messing up your hands or nails.

You take a pairing knife and cut a circle about an inch from the top of the orange.

Then, cut vertical lines all around the orange. When it's time to eat the orange, you simply peel the pre-cut skin away. It's simply the zest!

As clever as food hacks are, not all are up to code.

SNL skit The Californians
Giphy | Saturday Night Live

One that was pit-ifully bad (pardon the pun) is the TikTok hack that claims to stop avocados from turning into a mushy brown mess after just a few days.

TikTok user @shamamamahealing shared the "hack."

Water being poured into glass
Unsplash | Brendan Church

In a viral video to her six million followers, she claimed to solve the oxidation issue by submerging whole avocados in water and storing them in the fridge. Her hack promises that the avocado will be fresh and green for up to a month.

If this sounds too good to be true, that's because it is.

Bacteria in dish
Unsplash | Drew Hays

The FDA has adamantly warned against it, writing in a statement, "The FDA does not recommend this practice." The main issue is that the food hack could be breeding the dangerous bacteria, salmonella.

Salmonella can cause an infection called salmonellosis, which leads to a variety of symptoms.

Man coughing

This includes diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and even death. It's not something you want to play around with, which is why the FDA felt the need to warn people.

They shared this PSA with Newsweek.

Avocado cut in half
Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

"The main concern is with the possibility that any residual human pathogens (i.e. Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp, etc.) that may be residing on the avocado surface may potentially multiply during the storage when submerged in water," they wrote.

Harmful bacteria are already a concern for avocado lovers.

Unsplash | Alison Marras

In 2018, FDA research found that out of 1,615 avocado samples, over 17 percent had a prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes. So when you place avocado inside water, it becomes the perfect place for bacteria to spread.

It's advised that you thoroughly wash the avocado before eating it.

Person washing celery
Unsplash | Louis Hansel

"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 wrote. This, however, doesn't mean dunking it in water for a month. Sorry, TikTokers!