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One Margarita, Please—Hold the E. Coli-Soaked Lime Garnish

The good, the bad and the ugly things we learned about our bodies today

Bad news, margarita drinkers: That lime wedge the barkeep so kindly garnished your salt-rimmed glass with is killing you!

Well, maybe not killing you, per se, but it is dancing with the girl it done brought, and in many cases, that girl might be E. coli, norovirus or any number of contagious bacteria and viruses.

Food scientists from Clemson University (via the Daily Mail) studied service workers whose hands had been contaminated by E. coli. They found that these workers transferred the food-poisoning causing bacteria to wet lime or lemon wedges in 100 percent of cases, and in 30 percent of cases where the wedges were dry. Which means, by transitive property, if those wedges were then served as garnish, the drinker would possibly be in for one hell of a poopy ride.

Don’t feel too left out, rocks drinkers: that ice you so lovingly fill your glass with is not up for any cleanliness awards, either. Bacteria were found to have survived their trip from ice chest to glass 67 percent of the time when transferred by hands, and 83 percent by scoop. And don’t expect the alcohol to kill the contaminants for you, either — even 86-proof scotch didn’t provide an environment inhospitable enough to kill the bacteria.

Basically, if you’d prefer to not get a side of Montezuma’s Revenge with your blended marg, your best bet is to pick a spirit and drink it neat.

A few other things we learned about our bodies today:

*No word on whether this comes via the all-powerful nut lobby. They are legion.