This isn’t what we want to hear.
Gin and tonic, tequila, Corona, there are some drinks that just aren’t complete without a slice of citrus fruit.
But it might be wise to skip the citrus next time according to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Health.
Lemons and limes that you get in bars are actually rife with germs.
The study involved swapping lemon slices in 21 different restaurants to check for bacteria and the results weren’t pretty.
The researchers found that 70% of the lemon slices examined produced microbial growth, this included yeasts and bacteria.
The study noted that “The microbes found on the lemon samples in our investigation all have the potential to cause infectious diseases at various body sites.”
It also noted that it was difficult to trace exactly why the fruit was so contaminated, but say that the damage could already be done before the lemons even reach the restaurant or bar that they will be served it. “While the Enterobacteriaceae and nonfermentative Gramnegative bacilli could have come from the fingertips of a restaurant employee via human fecal or raw-meat or poultry contamination, they might have contaminated the lemons before they even arrived at the restaurant.”
We have a feeling that if you’re heading out tonight you’ll be asking the bartender to hold off on the slice of lime in that vodka soda you were planning on getting.
The study did say, though, that they weren’t sure exactly what threat this poses to humans when consumed, and that to determine that, more research was needed.
So while it’s not very hygienic to have a lemon in your drink, there is a bigger chance of the alcohol itself making you ill!