Blowing out your birthday candles is actually super gross, says science 3 years ago

Blowing out your birthday candles is actually super gross, says science

Sometimes science isn't easy to understand, but with the title of this new study, there's not a lot to be misunderstood here...

Some folks are here to do their jobs / ruin birthdays for you forever with their newly published study, helpfully titled Bacterial Transfer Associated with Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake.


Yup, the super friendly and fun activity of bringing out the big birthday cake, covered in how ever many candles, and then placing it in front of the birthday boy or girl, and have them blow the candles out... yeah, apparently that is super, duper disgusting, because on average, the number of bacteria on the cake afterwards is about 1,400% higher than the pre-blown out cake.

The lead author of the study spoke to The Atlantic about the experiment, which didn't even involve real cake! Where's the fun in that?

Regardless, they put frosting on a piece of foil on a cake-sized piece of Styrofoam. Then they got someone to blow the candles out, diluted the frosting, and used science to checked the bacteria figures.

On average, yup, there were 14 times more bacteria in there than the frosting had before anyone blew on it, but that ranged from some folk who transferred no more bacteria on to the frosting, all the way up to some folk who increased the bacteria levels by as much as 12,000%.

If that already has you slapping slices of birthday cake out of your co-worker's hands, then you can relax, the author of the study says the health issues are practically negligible:

"It’s not a big health concern in my perspective. In reality if you did this 100,000 times, then the chance of getting sick would probably be very minimal."

Still though, we felt better about birthday cake before we read this, and now we're sure so did you.