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31st Jul 2017

This information has just put us off birthday cakes forever


Alison Bough

birthday cake blowing out candles bacteria saliva

You may want to consider throwing some antibacterial goodies into your party bags from now on…

birthday cake blowing out candles bacteria saliva

Ever thought about this additional ‘topping’ on birthday cakes? According to a new study published in the Journal of Food Research, blowing out the candles on a birthday cake leads to a 1,400 percent increase in bacteria on icing. Ewwww.

Professor Paul Dawson, a specialist in food safety and nutrition from Clemson University in the US, conducted the study using artificial styrofoam cakes and replicated their (gross) saliva findings on three occasions.

When the research team compared the icing on two cakes – one where candles were blown out and another where they were not – they found that the icing of the cake with blown-out candles had 1,400 percent more bacteria.

Professor Dawson says he hopes the results will “raise awareness of possible health risks associated with birthday celebrations and encourage others to take steps toward preventing the spread of bacteria.”

We’re sure the prof is a jolly good fellow but let’s not ruin cake by over-thinking this one, eh?