Why you should never ask for a slice of lemon or lime in your drink

'Slice of lemon?'

It's common question you'll hear in pretty much any pub, bar, restaurant... but apparently one that should also prompt a vigorous shake of the head.

Because there are things lurking in your slice of citrus.

A 2007 study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that, out of lemon slices from 21 different restaurants, 70 per cent of the samples produced some kind of microbial growth.


Researchers wrote:

The microbes found on the lemon samples in our investigation all have the potential to cause infectious disease at various body sites, although the likelihood was not determined in this study.

Philip Tierno, PhD - a clinical professor of microbiology at New York University - told Elle UK: "People are touching the lemon in your glass, handling it, cutting it, placing it in a container or a cup, and then pucking up those slices at a later point in time and dropping them into a drink and putting them on the rim of a glass."


Of course, the study didn't determine the likelihood of customers' contracting infectious diseases from lemon wedges, but it did find a potential problem that a lot of us had likely not thought about before.

So let's ask again, would you like lemon in your drink?

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