Well this certainly turns us off eating cake at the next party we attend!

Blowing out the birthday candles increases bacteria on the cake by 1,400 percent!

A study, “Bacterial Transfer Associated with Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake,” was conducted by food safety professors at Clemson University. It examined “the potential spread of bacteria” when we blow out candles on a cake.

The researchers found that “blowing out the candles over the icing surface resulted in 1400% more bacteria compared to icing not blown on,” adding that “[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.”

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They also found that some participants spread almost no bacteria, while others were a little more…generous. Paul Dawson, a Clemson University professor of food safety, said that “some people blow on the cake and they don’t transfer any bacteria. Whereas you have one or two people who really for whatever reason…transfer a lot of bacteria.”

Although he admits he doesn’t believe it is a big health concern, saying, “in reality if you did this 100,000 times, than the chance of getting sick would probably be very minimal,” and we’d be well aware by now if there were some sort of outbreak of illnesses from Chuck E. Cheese’s parties around the country.

No cake for me thanks!

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  • Some parents supply muffins for the children instead of slices of large cake. The muffin with the candles in it can be moved away from the others.


  • Never even thought about this. We have permanent residents where I work and 2 of them have just had a birthday party with cake and candles. One turned 85 and the other turned 95 but the cakes were delicious


  • Ewww a bit of a gross thought! At least everyone you have birthday cake with is a friend or family!


  • Well, considering I have been eating birthday cake for 45+ years, I’m doing okay. I do appreciate the idea of blowing out candles is a way to spread germs, but I also encourage people to not spit on the cake!!


  • I am a granny now it is true, but think we re over protecting our kids to, We have blown out candles and danced n the rain, never got ill was our gain. By building an immune system

    Think we overdo the never ending list of precautions. I am Nanna now and we played in rain, ate things we dropped o floor, blew out candles etc the list could go on, ut believe we or our bodies created a better immune system. After all the Doctir introduces germs into our system eg Flu injection etc. So I feelwe need to build our kids immune system by doing ordinary thigs cake,candles and all. My art is alternative too



  • What a load of rubbish. People have been eating birthday cake for eons. It’s not like you are going to let a person sick with Ebola blow out your cake!!


  • What a load of rubbish! We have all been eating birthday cake FOREVER without the need to worry about germs! Of course there are going to be germ on the cake if you blew all over it. But really, do we need to stop eating birthday cake because of it? No way! I say celebrate birthdays whatever way you want, but leave the birthday cake alone!


  • I don’t eat cake anyway, too unhealthy, but why not make mini cakes instead of one big one, and the person who blows the candles has their own cake.


  • For as long as my husband can remember, his Dad has used a birthday card or something to wave over the candles to extinguish them — for this very reason! I’m not a cake eater, so it doesn’t really matter for me…..


  • I’m still alive 37 years later after eating birthday cake lol. I’ll still have some ????


  • In our house birthday cakes are only around when family is and as we all hug and kiss one another, I’m not worried about the bugs on the cake at all.


  • I’ll still have some cake please lol


  • You got me. No more cake for me at a birthday party. (I needed an excuse not to munch anyway)!


  • That makes sense :)


  • Ugh, the amount of bacteria anywhere… I’ve never gotten sick from eating cake that’s been blown (or spat) on. I won’t be worrying.


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