Clemson University food scientists have looked into the dangerous health risks behind using cocktail garnishes. Lemon slices have taken the top spot, as scientists have discovered that they can bring more bacteria to your drink than literally anything else.
And when a wet lemon comes in contact with ice in your drink….yikes.
The research explains that lemons, when wet, are able to absorb different types of unhealthy bacteria 100% of the time. When lemon wedges are dry, the rate is dramatically cut down to around 30%.
Lemon slices could be contaminating your drink. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
According to The Daily Mail, these findings are consistent with a previous study which found that 69 percent of lemons slices used in drinks from 21 restaurants sampled in the Paterson, NJ area were carrying bacteria or fungi associated with human contamination.
Ice, on the other hand, can be contaminated by microorganisms even before the water freezes. Both ice and lemons are able to grab bacteria from surfaces, hands, or utensils. So the two together may cause a bacteria uprising in your beverage.
Many times, lemons pick up bacteria right after being cut, by the person cutting the fruit.
The report also stresses that alcoholic and acidic drinks are “not guaranteed protection from bacteria that may get into your drink from ice or other garnishes”.