Citrus Safety Information for Cocktails
Both organic and conventional citrus can be waxed; with the wax for non-organic citrus allowed to be made from petroleum-derived ingredients and treated with preservatives or fungicides.
When flaming citrus zests, use organic citrus and/or wash with water first.
The FDA says [link]:
- Washing fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended.
- Even if you do not plan to eat the skin, it is still important to wash produce first so dirt and bacteria are not transferred from the surface when peeling or cutting produce.
- Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
- After washing, dry produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present on the surface
Please also beware of getting citrus juices on your skin before going into the sun, as severe sunburns can result. See: Bergamot and Citrus Sun Sensitivity.
"Produce: Selecting and Serving it Safely" US Food & Drug Administration [link]
"How to Flame Cocktails Safely" [link] Imbibe Magazine
"Citrus Farmers Facing Deadly Bacteria Turn to Antibiotics, Alarming Health Officials" [link] New York Times