One of the best ways to add flavor to your water, iced tea or coke is a juicy lemon wedge. Unfortunately this may not be the most sanitary thing for us. A recent study was published in the Journal of Environmental Health about how sanitary lemons are in restaurants. The study found that 70 percent of 76 lemons from 21 restaurants produced microbial growth. The type of bacteria found was E. Coli and Entrococcus Spp.
But what does this mean? The study does not know where the germs came from.
Will having lemon in your drink at restaurants make you violently ill? According to the study, “Restaurant patrons should be aware that lemon slices added to beverages may include potentially pathogenic microbes.” On the other hand Philip Tierno, Ph.D., a clinical professor at NYC who has also conducted a similar study was quoted in a Huffington Post article saying we shouldn’t get too worked up about it. “The usual course will probably result in no infection, but there is a possibility,” Mr. Tierno said. “You can’t live in a bubble. Your immune system is usually pretty good.”
There are many health benefits to drinking lemon in your water, so the best advice we can give is to proceed with caution. If this grosses you out, stick to lemon and water at home!