14.04.2024

Warning over TikTok avocado storage ‘hack’ that could give you diarrhoea

With the cost of living crisis tightening our purse strings, many of us are trying to make food last longer to save money. But one specific ‘hack’ to keep avocados fresher for longer could cause diarrhoea, experts have warned.

The TikTok trend — described as ‘genius’ in some corners — encourages people to submerge their avocados in water. Advocates claim this slows down the oxidisation process, effectively stopping the millennial’s favourite fruit from ripening too soon.

But, as well as delaying them from browning, the storage method actually creates the perfect location for dangerous bacteria to thrive.

Pathogens such as listeria and salmonella can be found on the surface of the fruit, according to Pink Storage Cardiff.

Both, which can make sufferers severely ill, can cause diarrhoea.

Scott Evans, of PSC, said: ‘When we became aware of this trend we saw that people were using this trick and that it was working for them.

‘Submerging the avocado in water slows down the oxidisation process which causes your avocado to overripen.

Hack suggests people store avocado in water to keep it fresh for longer, as pictured right. But, experts say this can cause dangerous bacteria to grow. Storing avocados in the fridge with cling film or simply keeping the pit inside can also help keep it fresh

Hack suggests people store avocado in water to keep it fresh for longer, as pictured above. But, experts say this can cause dangerous bacteria to grow

‘While it’s clear the hack does keep your avocados fresher for longer, you shouldn’t be using this social media hack as it is dangerous.’

He added: ‘When you submerge your avocados in the water you are creating an environment that allows human pathogens such as listeria and salmonella to thrive.’

Registered dietitian Dr Duane Mellor, at Birmingham’s Aston University, also does not encourage people to follow this trend.

He said: ‘By storing them in water, it’s only likely to increase the risk of these bacteria which may be harmlessly existing on the fruit’s skin.’

Listeriosis is a serious condition that is caused by eating foods which contain listeria bacteria.

It poses the biggest threat to babies, pregnant women, over-65s, and anyone with a weakened immune system.

The bacteria is usually a problem with chilled and ready to eat foods, according to the NHS.

Nutritionist Toby King warned washing the skin before putting it in water will also not prevent the bacteria from spreading.

He said: ‘Some social media users believe that they can disinfect the skins from these harmful pathogens.

‘But listeria can infiltrate the pulp of the avocado when in storage.

‘Disinfecting the skin in this instance wouldn’t help.’

If you want to keep your avocados lasting longer you are better off wrapping it in cling film, keeping the pit inside the fruit or storing it with chopped-up onions, experts say.

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