Even worse, only 13% of the lemon wedges had microbial growth only on the rind. Most of them were contaminated in the lemon flesh as well. So yes, it was all pretty dirty!
But how does the lemon get so contaminated?
“People are touching the lemon in your glass, handling it, cutting it, placing it in a container or a cup, or a glass,” explains Dr Philip Tierno, a professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University School of Medicine who also wrote the book The Secret Life of Germs, "They are then then picking up those slices at a later point in time and dropping them into a drink and putting them on the rim of a glass.”
And let's be honest, not everyone's personal hygiene gets an A+. “Hand washing is one of the things that’s not practiced very well, especially after using bathroom facilities,” says Philip. “There are many major studies that prove that.”
But could you really get sick from a lemon wedge in your alcoholic drink? The researchers of the study say yes.
“The microbes found on the lemon samples in our investigation all have the potential to cause infectious diseases at various body sites, although the likelihood was not determined in this study,” says the research paper.
And no, sadly the alcohol in your drink won't 'disinfect' your lemon, no matter how strong you have it - only a glass of pure alcohol would do that! So it looks like the only way forward is to order your G&T without the lime or lemon, or hope your barman has washed his hands!