Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
You may want to think twice before plunking a lemon into your water or asking the bartender for a twist. HuffPost Healthy Living reported on a study from the National Environmental Association that takes all the freshness out of the beloved citrus fruit. In fact, the results suggested that a bevy of harmful microorganisms are breeding on the flesh and rind. After swabbing 76 lemons at 21 restaurants, researchers found that 70% of them had microbial growth that is theorized to have come from contaminated meat or a restaurant employee (read: not washing their hands).
Philip Tierno, Ph.D., a clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center, conducted dozens of experiments on the same level with equally disturbing results. "We found in every single group of specimens from different institutions, representations from the three body sites that men usually impart their flora," Tierno told HuffPost Healthy Living. So, in English, that's bacteria from fecal matter, the respiratory tract (Achoo!), and the skin. But, before you go banning lemons forever, Tierno points out that similar bacteria also breeds on common items like salt and pepper shakers and sandwich garnishes, too. So, here's to hoping you have a strong immune system. (HuffPost Healthy Living)