Lemon is the surface polish every drink probably doesn’t need but gets anyway. Thrown into any drink with a semblance of freshness, bars and restaurants will dole out these citrus slices willy-nilly unless you specifically express that you don’t want one.
And you shouldn’t want one. At least you won’t once you hear what lies beneath the bitter surface…
You said it, Tina.
A study from 2007 published in the Journal of Enviornmental Health found that 70% of lemons found across 21 different resturarants produced some sort of microbial growth. What?!
Growths are never a good sign, especially if you’re throwing them into the glass you’re guzzling from.
The researchers wrote: “The microbes found on the lemon samples in our investigation all have the potential to cause infectious disease at various body sites”. Yup, you could get some horrible lemon infection and start to turn into a human-citrus hybrid… maybe not but it’s still gross.
Bedfore you get all freaked out, the likelihood of infection from lemon slices is yet to be determined. It could be like 0.002% for all you know. You might be more prone to infectious diseases from the ice cubes in your drink than the lemon. It makes you think, though.
Speaking to Elle UK, a clinical professor of microbiology at NYU made us think about the journey of the lemon slice from cutting to consuming: “People are touching the lemon in your glass, handling it, cutting it, placing it in a container or a cup, and then pucking up those slices at a later point in time and dropping them into a drink and putting them on the rim of a glass.”
That’s a lot of hand contact before you’re putting it on your lips… maybe pass on the lemon next time.