Life hacks that go viral on TikTok sometimes seem too good to be true — often because they are. In the case of one recent viral hack, trying it out yourself would not just be ineffective but dangerous as well.
The FDA is warning people not to store their cut avocados in water in an attempt to preserve their freshness, as recommended by several TikTokers — including one who managed to get over six million views. (The TikToker in question later made a second TikTok retracting his previous advice.)
It’s not hard to see why this bogus avocado hack initially took off — on the surface, it seems to work, as the water slows the oxidation process, preventing the avocado flesh from turning brown as quickly once it’s cut open.
The problem, however, is that there is nothing wrong with oxidation and something very wrong with storing avocados in water: mainly that it leads to listeria and/or salmonella.
“The main concern is the possibility that any residual human pathogens (such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella) that may be residing on the avocado’s surface may potentially multiply during the storage when submerged in water,” an FDA spokesperson said.
Luckily, there are legitimate safe ways to help your avocados stay fresh for longer.
The best thing to do with the finicky fruits is to keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them, as the cold temperatures slow the ripening process. As one content creator recently showed us, you can effectively use up six fresh avocados over the course of two weeks by simply keeping an eye on the ripening process and manipulating the avocados to suit your needs.
If you’re trying to store an avocado that has already been cut open, storing it in a Tupperware with a cut onion and/or squeezing a bit of lemon or lime juice on the avocado’s flesh can also help to slow down the oxidation process and keep it fresh for a bit longer. Plus, it adds a little extra flavor.
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