Now you know, science can’t leave well enough alone. They just have to stick their noses in everything. Why don’t you grab yourself a glass of lemon water and we’ll discuss this. Or perhaps you might want to wait on that… There was recently a study done on the fruit that gets placed in drinks, and you will lose your lunch when you see the results. Philip Tierno, Ph.D., a clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University School of Medicine decided to swab pieces of fruit and see what he could find.
Are you ready? His swabs came up with “evidence of contamination from the skin, respiratory secretions, and fecal matter.” Ugh, there’s shit in your drink! Step away from the glass of lemon water! Now you could argue the fruit was washed before it was placed on the bar. Well, yes, it could have been, but how many people have touched it since then? Someone cuts the fruit into slices, and someone else could be placing those slices in your drink. How is their handwashing technique?
But, you argue, I had the fruit in a mixed drink with alcohol. Okay, but the alcohol is not strong enough to kill the bacteria on the skin of the fruit. The alcohol is diluted by adding other ingredients. Then you finally argue, but nothing has happened to me so far. That is true, with emphasis on “so far.”
Other items found on the fruit include enterococcus, staph, E. coli, and the norovirus. Yum. I’ll drink to that. So let’s think about what drinks have fruit slices in them. The slices can either be floating or a garnish. Beers have limes and oranges. Water can have the lemon or a lime. Now you’ll begin to look a little suspect at the cucumber floating in your water as well. Any mixed drink where fruit is muddled, margaritas, and so forth. Let’s not even think about Sangria!
So what’s the answer to this? Drink more scotch and bourbon! Seriously, though, pay attention to where the fruit is coming from and who touched it before you. Take the fruit out of your drink, or request no fruit in it. You could always go with the adage that nothing has happened so far. This will just depend on your comfort level of knowing there is potential shit in your drink. Salud!