These Drink Garnishes Could Increase Your Risk of Bacterial Infections

risk of bacterial infections

Whether you prefer alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, more often than not they are served with some refreshingly cold ice and a slice of citrus fruit. Sure enough, drink garnishes make your drink taste even better, but they also increase the risk of various bacterial infections. How come? Read on.

Is It Really That Bad?

Since the very early days of commercial usage, ice has been prone to contamination. Not that long ago, in 1991, there was an outbreak of Cholera in Latin America. More than 8,000 people fell ill while seventeen people died. Drink garnishes do increase the risk of bacterial infections.

Bacteria Transfer Easily

Recent studies conducted by scientists at Clemson University have shown that E.coli may easily contaminate wet lemons. The same can be said about ice. Even if you leave the lemons to dry, the rate of bacteria transfer gets cut down to 30 percent.

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that 70 percent of drinks served with lemons in 21 randomly chosen restaurants were indeed carrying some sort of microbes. Potentially harmful microorganisms also contaminated ice scoops in those same restaurants.

Fixing Your Own Drinks

Could fixing your own drinks at parties be helpful in lowering the risk of bacterial infections? Well, if you still insist on ice cubes and lemon wedges in your glass, it’s not the right way. Someone who might give you E.coli sliced those lemons. Slicing your own lemons at home is another story.


Drink garnishes such as ice and citrus fruits do increase the risk of bacterial infections. You should either avoid them completely or fix your own drinks at home.