Danica Collins – Managing Editor (Underground Health Reporter™)

Used as both a garnish and flavor enhancer, lemon wedges typically adorn beverages such as soda and water. Ever wonder just how clean that lemon wedge really is?

According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Environmental Health, you may be better off foregoing that splash of lemon. Researchers tested both the rinds and flesh of 76 lemons collected from 21 different restaurants over the course of 43 visits. Lemons were swabbed as they were served and before drinking or handling by patrons. They discovered that 25 different organisms, including bacteria and yeast, contaminated approximately 70% of the lemons tested.

lose the lemon wedgeThen there was the ABC News commissioned experiment, which showed that half of lemon wedges collected were soiled with fecal matter! The cameras caught employees handling lemons without gloves or tongs—a requirement of health laws. According to a 2004 FDA study, 31% of fast food employees and 41% of full service restaurant employees practice poor personal hygiene.

Truth be told, researchers can’t pinpoint the exact source of contamination. It is highly likely microorganisms are transferred via employee contact. After all, strains of E. coli and staphylococcus epidermis found on the flesh and rinds of lemon wedges have their origins in human fecal matter and the respiratory tract. Microorganisms can be transferred not only by hand-to-hand contact, but also by coughing, sneezing, and talking.  Researchers speculate that bacteria may also come from raw meat and poultry contamination…or may even infect lemons before they arrive at the restaurant.

Apart from the yuck factor, there has been no evidence that lemon wedges directly cause disease in humans. More than likely, your immune system is strong enough to fight the small amount of bacteria on lemon wedges.

To reduce your exposure to these microorganisms, squeeze the lemon juice into your water, rather than dunking the lemon wedge whole.

You won’t be completely eliminating exposure, as bacteria hangs out in the flesh of lemons, not just the rinds, but you will be decreasing the potential for infection. As for the cherries, limes, and onions that garnish restaurant beverages…well, they’re also infected with a host of pathogens and best avoided!

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Danica Collins is a natural health specialist and the managing editor of the Underground Health Reporter, a daily destination for little-known, cutting-edge — and sometimes unconventional — information that can revolutionize people’s health… or even save lives.  She is also the spokesperson for Think-Outside-the-Book Publishing, the publisher of The One-Minute Cure: The Secret to Healing Virtually All Diseases, which reveals the scientifically proven therapy that creates a condition in the body that is uninhabitable by disease.
Underground Health reports daily to over 250,000 e-newsletter readers and 100,000 Facebook fans, bringing them the most popular health news on the market, new cutting-edge, anti-aging technologies, and some of the best-kept health secrets in the world. For more information visit www.UndergroundHealthReporter.com.