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The Daily Dish Food and Drinks

Gross! Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Increases Bacteria by a Whopping 1400 Percent

We'll think twice before having a second slice. Or a first.

By Maggie Shi

Next time you're facing a birthday cake covered with candles, you might want to think twice before blowing them out. According to a new study, blowing out those candles increases the amount of bacteria on the cake by 1400 percent.

Pause. Not a typo—that's 1400 percent. Ick!

Researchers from Clemson University in South Carolina conducted the study, testing the cake's frosting for bacteria growth, according to the Independent. They found that blowing out candles caused the frosting to grow 14 times as much bacteria, on average (and up to 120 times as much bacteria, depending on who was doing the huffing and puffing!).

But the researchers also stressed that the bacteria in your mouth isn't harmful, so as long as the candle-blower isn't sick, we shouldn't have to worry. (Just try not to to think about it.)

So let's hope the birthday girl or boy is in fine physical health. Otherwise, we'll be taking a hard pass on that slice of vanilla with chocolate frosting.

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