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When is an avocado not safe to eat?

When areas turn brown, or have dark strings running though them, are they safe to eat? If not, is it okay to eat fresh looking parts adjacent to brown or stringy areas? Also, what are the strings?

asked by a Whole Foods Market Customer over 3 years ago
9 answers 199455 views
added over 3 years ago

I cut out the brown spots and eat the rest. As for the strings, I find avocados with strings in them have deteriorated in flavor and do not taste good, so I usually throw them out. They are probably safe however. As to why the strings are there in the first place, here is what the California Avocado Board had to say:

Why does my avocado have strings or spots?
Strings or stringy fruit or the thickening of the vascular bundles (fibers that run longitudinally through the fruit) are generally the result of fruit from younger trees or improper storage conditions. Often times the fibers or strings will disappear or become less noticeable as the fruit (and tree) matures.

Flesh discoloration can occur when the avocado has been exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time. Flesh bruising can occur in transit or as a result of compression caused by excessive handling. Unfortunately there is no way to detect either flesh discoloration or flesh bruising by looking at the avocado's exterior. Damaged areas or spots can be removed by cutting them out.

added over 3 years ago

Nutcakes - Isn't that pretty much true for eating anything before skydiving? ;) (I have a funny story about eating before skydiving, but it isn't appropriate here...)

added over 3 years ago

I think Gourmet Metrics answer about the avocado being not fully mature is correct. I once inquired into this myself. Those strings are the worst texturally, and when they're present, I usually discard. But not because they're not safe.

added over 3 years ago

Avocados are toxic to dogs.

added 2 months ago

Avocado contains a toxin called Persin, but despite the rumors, avocado is not poisonous to dogs, nor likely to cats. Only certain species are poisoned by Persin. While dogs and cats are not affected by Persin, avocado poisoning can be deadly to birds and large animals (such as cattle).

added 2 months ago

My avocado's skin color turns red, is good to eat?


HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added 2 months ago

As long as the flesh is a vibrant greenish-yellow without any dark spots of color, it should be perfectly fine to eat. Sounds like your avocado might be ripe, maybe overly ripe. I find that the skin turns a reddish color when this happens.

Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 2 months ago

Ripe avocado skin can be very dark green, almost black or dark purple. One of the 32 avocado trees in my mom's yard are always a reddish purple. It really is not a sign of anything. As HalfPint said, as long as the flesh is green and of good texture, dig in and enjoy.