Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pucker and Puke

lemon image from Wikipedia

I love lemon: lemon smells, lemon color, lemon furniture polish, lemon pudding, lemon cake, lemon flavoring in anything. Matka used to make SHusband lemon meringue pies (since you need to use separated eggs in the pie and the meringue I do not make this pie, that's another post), and his SSister frequently makes SH lemon custard pie-"one of the best pies" according to SH. I really like when you get a lemon slice in your cold water, or they serve you a lemon slice with your tea. It is always a "small pleasure". Lemon makes you pucker-who hasn't seen a picture of a baby with their so sharp/hardly been used taste buds sucking a lemon?
Today the thought of a lemon slice makes me want to puke!! Why you ask? You do ask right? Well, a column in my local paper called the People's Pharmacy, by Joe and Teresa Graedon started off with a Q&A about the disgusting germ content of the seemingly benign lemon slice. Their column can either be taken as purveyors of the truth to protect your health or as alarmist.
But, I never miss their column, and have on occasion heard their radio show when trolling thru the dial.
Apparently, according to the article, a casual study was done by Microbiologist Annie LeGrange Loving which had her swab 76 lemon slices at 21 different restaurants, then cultured the swabs to see what grew. Her findings are what makes me want to puke! Two-thirds of the lemon slices had bacteria on either the flesh or the rind side!! And the authors of this column add lemon fuel to the fire by stating that tests from various restaurants found FECAL bacteria! Are you kidding me, fecal as in poop???
I shared this article with SH when he got up today and he said what are we gong to do? Walk around covered in latex, or be like famous germophobic Howard Hughes or even purchase stock in the disposable glove companies?
I argue that knowledge is wisdom, or is it wisdom is knowledge? Now that I know about this possibility, I can not ignore it. I will never be able to have another slice of lemon in a restaurant again, all I will see when I look at it will be germs!
E-coli/fecal bacteria picture from Wikipedia
I know, I know, If I knew what went on in restaurants I would never eat out again, I also know that is true in every industry that collects, prepares and sells us food products, but I have to start with what I know, lemon wedges are not safe, and anyone with a compromised immune system like me, like SH, need to be alert and aware.
I wonder if there is anything bad about Tim Hortons coffee, or does the heat kill off all the germs.......................yeah, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

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