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A viral hack for keeping avocados fresher for longer by storing them in water could actually make you very sick, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The “magic” viral hack was posted on TikTok by @shamamamahealing and had been viewed over 6.2 million times.

In the video’s caption, they claim you can store avocados in the fridge for up to a month if they’re kept submerged in water.

Footage showed them cutting into an avocado that they said had been stored in water for two weeks.

When they cut into it, it appeared to be the perfect level of ripeness – a difficult balance to strike as every avocado fan will know.

But now, the FDA is warning that the “hack” could result in illness as harmful bacteria can breed in those conditions.

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In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson explained: “The FDA does not recommend this practice.

“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.”

@shamamamahealing

Just some #avocado magic for you! Store in water in the fridge for up to a month! #kitchentips #vegan #vegetarian #howto

Based on the agency’s own experiments, the practice can even cause bacteria to grow in the avocado’s edible pulp making consumption risky.

It continued: “In addition, research performed by FDA scientists has shown that Listeria monocytogenes has the potential to infiltrate and internalize into the pulp of avocados when submerged in refrigerated dump tanks within 15 days during refrigerated storage.

“In this case, even surface disinfecting the avocado skin prior to slicing would not be able to remove the contamination.”

Out of skin samples of 1,615 avocados, Listeria monocytogenes was present on 17.73 per cent.

Low levels of exposure to the bacteria may not cause servere illness in healthy adults, but for pregnant women, older adults and people with weakened immune systems, it can have a negative effect.

Symptoms of illness include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and chills.

While it’s best to take any so-called social media “hack” with a pinch of salt, this is definitely one to avoid altogether.

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