When you're out at a restaurant, one of the first things you do is order your drinks. Whether you're getting soda or water, there's a good chance you ask for a lemon wedge. It's something most of us do without even thinking about it because lemons are delicious and there's been a recent trend about how lemon water is healthy for you.
While there definitely are some health benefits to drinking lemon water, such as cleansing your system, clearing your skin, and even helping regulate a healthy metabolism. Lemon water even has celebrity endorsements!
While we're not discouraging anyone from drinking lemon water (especially if it's served hot, first thing in the morning), you may want to steer clear of it when you're at a restaurant.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Environmental Health tested 76 lemons for 21 different restaurants and found that nearly 70% were covered in a host of bacteria and germs - including E. coli. Another investigation conducted by ABC found that nearly half the wedges they tested showed the presence of human waste matter. If that doesn't ruin your appetite, I don't know what will.
So, why are lemon wedges so gross at restaurants? Because the health standards for garnish items at restaurants are significantly less strict.
Restaurant workers were regularly observed grabbing lemon wedges without gloves or tongs. If, by chance, they didn't scrub their hands properly, all those germs are now spreading to the lemon wedge right before you plop it in your water.
Thankfully, experts say that the average immune system is perfectly capable of handling these types of germs. It doesn't make the thought of those germs in my water any more appetizing, but at least I know I'm safe from a serious illness or infection.