The FDA Warns Against The Latest TikTok Hack For Storing Avocados

There's no denying that avocados are a healthy snack. That said, sometimes it's difficult to choose fresh ones that don't go soggy within a couple of days of purchasing them. One TikTok hack claims to solve this problem by placing the fruit in a container of water and putting it in the refrigerator. The hack can allegedly keep avocados fresh for up to a month, perĀ Newsweek.

The hack had been hailed as "magic" by some, but just like many social media trends, there are hidden dangers many people don't know about. And with the case of keeping avocados fresh in water, the danger is harmful bacteria, a spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told Newsweek. The primary concern is that any bacteria on the outside of the fruit could multiply while the fruit sits in the water for several days. For this reason, the organization does not recommend trying this hack.

Listeria monocytogenes and salmonella can live on the surface of the fruit

To put this hack to the test, the FDA performed its own experiment and discovered that Listeria monocytogenes could penetrate the skin of the fruit and make its way into the pulp of the avocado. When this occurs, washing the surface of the fruit does no good. Of the 1,615 avocados used in the experiment, Listeria monocytogenes was present on the skin of 17.73%. The organization also noted that it found Salmonella on the skin of 12 of the avocados, per Newsweek.

Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis, an illness that causes fever, chills, nausea, and diarrhea, per Mayo Clinic. Pregnant women, babies, people with weak immune systems, and those over the age of 65 are more vulnerable to the illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year listeriosis infects about 1,600 people, and around 260 people die of the condition. Salmonella has risk factors and symptoms similar to listeria, but it can also cause vomiting and blood in the stool, according to WebMD.

There are safer ways to preserve avocados once you get them home, and The Spruce Eats recommends keeping them in a cool, dark place until they are ripe. Once ripe, place them in the crisper in your fridge and plan on eating them within a few days.