DANGERS of Dining Out....
- Urban Legends Reference Pages: Bacteria on Lemon Wedges
A study found dangerous microbial growth on 70% of lemon slices served with beverages in restaurants?
Think twice before putting that lemon wedge in your restaurant drink!
Years ago I used to work in the food industry. Not the best paying job but it helped me get through Massage School. Since than I have been a little leary about certain things when I visit restaurants after witnessing a few "questionable" acts myself by food servers and cooks. Here's some examples:
- When a customer leaves the table a busboy comes to wipe off the table with a rag. Well typically that rag is dipped in a solution of bleach water. Bleach is great at killing bacteria, but it doesn't do anything to kill viruses is my understanding. That rag is also used over and over again through the course of the day and most busboys don't really clean those tables thoroughly for that matter. Most of them are thinking about how much time they have left on the clock and are working as fast as they can to get out of there. So needless to say, I've gotten in the habit of placing my silverware on my napkin instead of the table. If they only give me one napkin I ask for another one.
- Another thing I try to do when eating out is, I always ask for a straw to drink out of my glass. Here's why. If you've ever seen how dishes in a restaurant are cleaned the majority isn't done by hand. They are usually placed in a large tray than rolled down an assembly line where the "dishwasher" sprays them with a giant high pressure washer system. Unfortunately this process often doesn't remove things like "lipstick stains". I can't stand the idea of putting my lips where who knows how many other lips have been against. At least with a straw I know my lips are the only ones that have touched it.
- I like to check out the health department for the area I'm eating out before I go to most restaurants I'm not familiar with. Heck even if it's your favorite place to go to check it out. You will find out what their average score is, what violations they received and if corrected. Each district will vary and some will be more detailed than others. Want to look up yours? Just do a search for "health district, (your city & state).
It's been said that if you are slicing any kind of fruit or vegetable even if you don't eat the rind, you should wash off the outside of it. Why? Because most of your fruits/veggies get contaminated with who knows what kind of bacteria during shipping. Check out the video below. Especially when they are shipped from outside the U.S. who knows what kind of regulations they have on their food. Whenever you slice through a fruit/veggie the knife comes in contact with the flesh of the fruit/veggie as well and therefore if not washed you may also be contaminating your fruit/veggie.
That being said take a look at this video. It has also been verified by snopes.com if you're wondering.
You may never want to request a lemon wedge for your restaurant/bar drink EVER again. I know I wont! YUCK!