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Bacterial Invasion On Your Birthday Cake

We might need an alternative to put the lights out on this one


What's going on?

Everyone loves blowing out the candles on their birthday cake, and it has become a mandatory act when celebrating a birthday with a cake. The ancient Greeks were said to have done it too to honor Artemis. However, recent studies tell us that blowing your birthday candles can lead to an increase of bacteria by 1,400% on the surface of the icing. Researchers at Clemson University in the United States tasked themselves in finding out the potential bacteria spread when blowing out the candles.


Earlier tests done on nutrient agar showed that the bioaerosols from the human breath are very much the source of bacteria transferred to the surface of the cake. What they did was spread some icing on a foil placed on a piece of styrofoam. They then stuck in a few candles on top of all that and lit them up. The participants ate pizzas and proceeds to blow the candles out. Researchers then carefully retrieved those icing samples and what they found was something we least expected.


The result showed that due to the transfer of oral bacteria onto the cake’s icing, the transfer of bacteria to the person consuming the cake is very likely. However, the good news from the study based on the researches is that chances of getting sick are very slim – even if a person blew out their birthday cake candles 100,000 times. Hence, this is not a huge health issue, and one shouldn’t worry too much when blowing out birthday candles.