Why you must thoroughly wash your avocados, according to the FDA

(Photo by Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post via Getty Images). 

This holiday season, you may want to take extra caution when preparing meals. 

According to the Food and Drug Administration, avocados may harbor bacteria and dirt within the peel.

Although the peel is typically not eaten, germs from your knife while cutting can affect both areas.

The FDA said that federal investigators' sampling found Listeria monocytogenes on the peels of about one in every five avocados. The new data is part of a 2014-16 study, in which investigators tested 361 domestic and imported avocado skins; 64 , or 17.73 percent, tested positive.

  • Listeria monocytogenes was detected by the FDA in avocado skin samples from both domestic and imported product. Of the 64 positive avocado skin samples, 33 were from domestic avocados and 31 were from imported avocados. The FDA notified the responsible firms of the test results as soon as the results were available.
  • Salmonella was detected by the FDA in 12 avocado skin samples from domestically grown product. No samples from imported avocados tested positive for Salmonella. In response to the detections, the FDA worked with the firms that owned or released the product to conduct voluntary recalls and followed up with facility inspections.

Click here for the FDA's full report!