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Study Reveals Blowing Out Birthday Candles Is a Bonanza of Vile Bacteria

Birthday Cake

When you blow out the candles on your next birthday cake, you may want to wish that everyone around you remains healthy.

A new study out of Clemson University has found that blowing out the candles on a birthday increases bacteria on the sweet treat by a staggering 1,400%.

Maybe a birthday cupcake would be better. Or a birthday donut. Or a birthday raisin. Anything, really, that doesn’t have to be shared after you weeze and inadvertently spit all over it.

Clemson professor Paul Dawson spearheaded the study and cautioned that it all differs based on the individual. “Some people blow on the cake and they don’t transfer any bacteria,” Dawson told The Atlantic. “Whereas you have one or two people who really for whatever reason…transfer a lot of bacteria.”

What’s even more mind-blowing is the fact that this news shouldn’t necessarily change how you celebrate turning the big-whatever-age-you’ve-reached. “It’s not a big health concern in my perspective,” Dawson said. “In reality if you did this 100,000 times, then the chance of getting sick would probably be very minimal.”

We should also point out the study did not actually employ real cake. Researchers “frosted a piece of foil atop a cake-shaped styrofoam base” before inserting candles and blowing after having eaten pizza, a common food to devour at birthday parties.

Still, if this doesn’t make you think twice about having a piece of cake the next time you’re at a birthday party, we don’t know what will.

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