A total of 25 different types of germs were found on 53 out of the 76 lemons that were sampled. Some were fecal in origin (either from dirty fingertips of the restaurant employees, or from meat-contaminated cutting boards and knives), while others were types commonly found in saliva, on the skin and in the environment.
One sample had six different microorganisms on it, three of which are found in fecal material. Although some lemon slices had germs either only on the rind or only on the pulp, 29 percent had germs on both sites. In 15 instances the germs on the pulp were completely different from those on the rind, indicating that the pulp had been in contact with a contaminated surface as or after it was sliced. Sometimes when more than one lemon was sampled during a single restaurant visit, different germs were found on each.
February 27, 2008
I've railed before against restaurant waiters putting a lemon slice in my water when I did not request it. After all, had I wanted lemonade, I'd have ordered it. And I most certainly wouldn't order watered down lemonade - which is what it tastes like when my water is polluted with a lemon slice. Well it turns out, lemon may not be the only pollutant that comes with this slice. A health study recently came out (admittedly, by a researcher at a community college) which examined the rind and pulp of 76 lemons served on water glasses at various restaurants in New Jersey. Some of her findings....
Perhaps I will admit defeat and begin requesting "water with no lemon" even though I'll know inside I should not have to utter the words "with no lemon". I'd rather speak up and have less poop in my water.