Health

Imagine Never Dropping A Lemon Wedge In Your Water Again

Adding Lemons Into Your Drink May Be Drastically Dangerous. Learn How To Protect Yourself From Harmful Bacteria and Germs

By: Eboni Walker

The most requested drink at restaurants is a glass of water with lemon.

Many people believe plopping a lemon wedge in their glass of water is a healthy way to purify your water and body. But what if that lemon wedge was causing more harm to your body than good?

According to the Huff Post, a study by the Journal of Environmental Health tested 76 lemons from 21 restaurants.

During the investigation, researchers made 43 visits to the different restaurants and found that 70 percent of them showed they “produced microbial growth.”

Photo: 123Rf

The lemons were reportedly swabbed as soon as the beverage was served. They tested lemons that were served with soda and water. Researches came to the assumption that the microorganisms found either came from the server, raw meat or poultry contamination.

“Although lemons have known antimicrobial properties, the results of our study indicate that a wide variety of microorganisms may survive on the flesh and the rind of the sliced lemon. Restaurant patrons should be aware that lemon slices added to beverages may include potentially pathogenic microbes,” the writers of the study wrote.

A news correspondent for ABC went to 10 restaurants in three states and took the samples of 10 things you come in contact with in these facilities. She later took the sample to Dr. Philip Tierno who tested the samples in the New York University Microbiology Department lab.

They concluded lemons were third on the list of things that spread the most germs in restaurants. They suggest the germs on lemons come primarily from human hands.

“One of the most frequently occurring contaminants in the test results was fecal matter. Half of the lemon wedges tested were tainted with human waste. How does fecal matter get on lemons in the first place? Cameras caught restaurant workers grabbing lemons with their bare hands, reaching in again and again without gloves or tongs. If they haven’t washed their hands well after using the bathroom, germs spread.”

He later told the Huff Post about the specimens found while doing his research.

“We found in every single group of specimens from different institutions, representations from the three body sites that men usually impart their flora.”

He also added that the bacteria comes from both intestines and skin. E. Coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis and a fungus that is mostly found in the vagina, were also specimens found on the flesh of lemons.

Dr. Tierno explains these specimens are harmful; they will not cause a major infection in the body.

“The usual course will probably result in no infection, but there is a possibility. You can’t live in a bubble. Your immune system is usually pretty good,” he said.

The study concluded that lemons have a wide variety of microorganisms which live on the flesh and “rind” of a lemon.

They are encouraging restaurant owners to be aware of the lemons slices which may have “potentially pathogenic microbes.”

If an investigation is properly done, it may show there is a serious threat in lemons. Researchers believe there may be a way to prevent the lemons of carrying such harmful bacteria. They believe if enough research is done on other beverage condiments, such as olives, limes, celery, and cherries may be contaminated as well.

Dr. Tierno’s research also shows other harmful surfaces within a restaurant include ketchup bottles, salad bar tongs, bathroom faucets, glass rims, tables, salt and pepper shakers, menus and seats.

So, the next you go to a restaurant you may become a little germophobic. While germs are inevitable to prevent it may help by squeezing the juice from the lemon inside of your drink instead of allowing the entire lemon to marinate inside your beverage.

By: Eboni Walker | Web: www.ebonimwalker.com | Instagram: EboniMWA | Twitter: EboniMWalker

Source: Huff Post, ABC News