When life hands you lemons, think twice about adding them to your water glass! Sure a wedge of this much-loved citrus fruit can give your drink some zest, but experts have found that zest is far from the only thing being added to your bevvy.
After conducting research at 21 restaurants American scientists discovered that 70 per cent (that’s right almost three quarters!) of lemons tested were covered in as many as 25 different varieties of germs. Talk about unappetizing!
Some of the more well-known contaminants included: E. Coli, fecal matter, and raw meat residue. It turns out that citrus fruits like lemons (and limes before you think of switching to this other restaurant favourite) are particularly susceptible to cross contamination due to the pores on the outside of the fruit. That being said, the rinds weren’t the only problem area researchers came across. 29 per cent of lemons also sported bacteria-infused interiors, after being cut into slices.
So where are these unhealthy additions coming from? While researchers couldn’t be entirely sure, they speculate that unwashed fruit, poor post-bathroom hand-washing habits, and the use of dirty chopping boards and knives are the most likely culprits. The good news is, the study did not find that this bacteria actually caused illness, but knowing it’s there could reduce your appetite, so if in doubt, skip the lemon. We’ll take boring bacteria-free water any day!