When you drink lemon water you feel *really* healthy, right? Especially if you opt for it over sugary sodas or alcoholic drinks at a restaurant. But did it every occur to you that adding lemon to your water might actually do more harm then good? Well, it should–because it turns out unwashed lemons carry a ton of bacteria on the skin. Ew!
According to a study by a microbiologist in New Jersey (and other similar studies), lemons served at restaurants, say as garnishes or in your drink, are incredibly bacteria-ridden. They found everything from fecal bacteria (OMG!) to other microorganisms that can make you sick on the rinds and flesh of the lemons, due to servers not properly washing their hands before touching them.
Shocking, I know. If you’re an avid water drinking and aren’t totally grossed out by that information, feel free to continue ordering lemon water at restaurants. If you have a healthy immune syste, you’ll probably be fine and there’s nothing to freak out about (there are other aspects of restaurants that are really dirty, mind you, like communal ketchup bottles). When you’re at home, experts suggest *scrubbing* lemons and limes to remove harmful bacteria from the surface, as other factors like how the limes are transported and stored can make the rinds really dirty as well.
Good luck, lemon lovers!