Beware Dirty Lemon Wedges At Restaurants

The slightly alarmist has a story about dirty lemon wedges in restaurants—apparently they’re a “witch’s brew of bacteria,” to use the hilariously over-the-top language of the video narrator, who speaks in a parody of a newscaster voice. Our favorite trick of theirs: overlaying gigantic bacteria animations on everyday objects, as you can see in this screen capture. But anyway, the point is a microbiologist from New Jersey found various bacteria on three quarters of the lemons she tested from 21 different restaurants: “The very first sample that we took was loaded with fecal bacteria.”

con_zimasprofloving.jpgProfessor Loving’s study found “25 different microorganisms” in all, and at the end of the video she says it’s “not necessarily cause for alarm” but that “you might want to be aware that the lemon slices have the potential to make you sick.”

Snopes has posted a page on the topic, saying that while the bacteria is real, the threat hasn’t been conclusively determined:

However, this study in itself doesn’t demonstrate that restaurant patrons are at high risk for contracting some serious illnesses due to food workers’ not observing sufficiently rigorous sanitary standards. For one thing, the study did not determine the origins of the microbial contaminants. The study also did not determine the likelihood of customers’ contracting infectious diseases from restaurant-served lemon wedges, nor did it cite any examples of such an occurrence. What the study uncovered, basically, is a potential problem that requires more study.

(Thanks to Paul!)

“Lemon With Your Drink? Restaurant Lemons Are Loaded With Germs” [ via Wise Bread]

“Lemon Aid” [Snopes]
“Scientific Study: Double Dipping Is As Gross As You Think It Is”
(Video capture:
(Hypothetical image of Dr. Loving: Invader Zim)