The next time you visit a restaurant and order a drink, beware of the lemon wedge placed on the rim of your glass or dropped in your drink. The lemon wedge in your drink looks very tempting and refreshing, but it can make you sick.

Well, this may sound shocking. Believe it or not, lemon wedges served with your drinks are said to be covered in disease-causing bacteria, including fecal bacteria.

How harmful is lemon wedge placed in your drink?

When some employee in a restaurant places a lemon wedge on your glass of water, tea or soda, he/she knowingly or unknowingly spikes your drink with germs. It is because not all employees wash their hands properly or as often as they should when serving the customers.

Unfortunately, you can’t rely upon even the most well-run and hygienic restaurants to be bacteria-free completely. It’s just that no test has been conducted to bring it to light. This is one of the major unknowns of good restaurants. People with low immunity are most likely to fall sick from these bacteria.

In a study, researchers found 70 per cent of 76 lemons from 21 different restaurants collected during 43 visits, contaminated with potentially harmful germs on them. These samples were collected before customers even touched their drinks after they were served. It means the germs were most likely from employees.

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Philip Tierno, author of ‘The Secret Life of Germs’ says that in his tests on lemon slices, he always comes up with evidence of contamination from the skin, respiratory secretions and fecal matter. Tierno said,”People are touching the lemon in your glass and 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.

The reason behind is that hand washing is one of the things that’s not practiced very well especially after using the washrooms.

Stay away from these drink garnishes that are contaminated with bacteria. These bacteria can cause illness and disease and most of them are typical of what you may find when people handling them don’t wash their hands well.

It is not possible to know the sanitary conditions of bar or restaurant employees handling lemon wedges. They are either in the kitchen or behind a bar. If you see them handling a lemon wedge with their bare hands, say no to it. If they’re wearing gloves or using tongs to put them in the glass, then the risk is lower for those slices to be contaminated with bacteria.