The Quite Gross Reason You Might Want To Stop Blowing Out Your Birthday Candles
Nothing says Happy Birthday quite like sharing your spit with a bunch of your nearest and dearest, and it turns out you don't even have to get off with anyone to do just that.
Enter the humble birthday cake, which it turns out is quite likely to be covered in bacteria thanks to the inevitable spit shower that comes with you trying to blow out your candles each year.
According to a study conducted by food safety officers at Clemson University, blowing out your candles increases the germs on your cake by up to 1,400%. Which - be honest - you probably kind of knew but have always refused to accept.
“[Due] to the transfer of oral bacteria to icing by blowing out birthday candles, the transfer of bacteria and other microorganisms from the respiratory tract of a person blowing out candles to food consumed by others is likely," scientist Paul Dawson said.
It gets grimmer though as the study involved scientists asking people who'd just eaten pizza to blow out candles on a bunch of fake cakes to see just how much bacteria transfer there was. What they found is that it really depends person to person as to just how much bacteria ended up on the cake.
"Some people blow on the cake and they don’t transfer any bacteria," he explains. "Whereas you have one or two people who really for whatever reason…transfer a lot of bacteria.”
And there we were thinking eating with your mouth open was the worst food crime you could ever commit.
Luckily it turns out that despite this increase in bacteria, eating cake that's been blown on by even a very spit-heavy individual is still very unlikely to be harmful.
"In reality if you did this 100,000 times, then the chance of getting sick would probably be very minimal," Dawson added.
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