Beware of Birthday Cake

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on March 29, 2018 · 0 comments

I grew up in a family where my Dad would not eat birthday cake after someone blew out the candles. Well researchers at Clemson University have proven Dad right. Blowing out candles on a birthday cake resulted in 1400% more bacteria on the icing as compared to a cake that was not blown on. Oral bacteria and viruses are transferred from the respiratory tract of the person blowing out the candles to the icing on the cake which other people are likely to eat.

The ceremonial blowing out of candles is traditional for most birthday celebrations, but the present study found that the level of bacteria increased more than 15 times on the icing. Since many contagious diseases, such as the flu, can be spread by airborne particles it might be wise to blow out a cupcake candle and serve the uncontaminated cake to your guests.

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