Question: One of my friends always asks for a slice of lemon in her water. I am grossed out every time I see that piece of lemon slice floating in her glass but I don’t have the nerve to tell her it’s probably loaded with germs. Am I mistaken?
Answer: You are correct.
Microbiologist Anne LaGrange Loving was served a Diet Coke with a slice of lemon she had not requested. She decided to check whether the lemon was likely to be contaminated.
Anne and her co-author swabbed 76 lemon slices served at 21 different restaurants, then cultured the results. Two-thirds of the lemon slices had bacteria on either the rind or the pulp (Microbial Flora on Restaurant Beverage Lemon Slices, Journal of Environmental Health, December 2007). Many of these germs have the potential to cause illness, although the study was not designed to discover if any patrons actually became sick.
She said, “You would think they dipped the lemons in raw meat.”
Ewwwww… NO THANK YOU!