Birthdays are incomplete without cutting Birthday Cake and blowing out candles. We have been following the ritual of blowing out candles and making a wish since time immemorial. However, now, a new study has found that doing this might turn out to be harmful to your health. Yes, you read that right.

Bacteria on birthday cake increases to an alarming 1,400 percent

According to The Star, a team of researchers from South Carolina’s Clemson University has found that blowing out the candles on a birthday cake loads the dessert with a lot of bacteria.

When a person blows out the candles, their saliva goes onto the cake. The study found that the saliva multiplies the bacteria growth in the dessert by 1,400 percent.

The study was conducted by Clemson University Professor Dr. Paul Dawson and some of his undergraduate students. The shocking research conclusion forced them into considering about food safety. Dr. Dawson actually got the idea from his daughter while having a dinner conversation.

For the purpose of the study, the team put the cake icing on a foil on top of a Styrofoam wheel with candles. They all consumed pizza to boost the salivary gland before blowing out the candles. Then they lit the candles and blew them. In order to count the bacteria, the cake icing was diluted with sterilized water and put out on agar plates.

The colonies on the agar represented the presence of bacteria cells in the icing.

Research result to not ruin birthday parties

It was observed that each time the blow resulted in the spread of different kinds of bacteria. Surprisingly, it was found that some people transferred more bacteria than others. Dr. Dawson is of the opinion that the research result shouldn't ruin birthday parties.

He said that the human mouth is full of bacteria. However, most of them are not harmful to health.

Avoid blowing out candles when sick or infected

To be on a safer side, Dr. Dawson recommends people to avoid blowing out the candles if the candle-blower is sick or suffers from any kind of infection, but otherwise the practice is fine.

The researcher said that in case it was that serious issue it would not have been such a common practice of blowing cakes on birthdays. However, it is better to be safe than sorry.

This is not the first time that Dr. Dawson has performed such an interesting study. In the past, he has also shared an article that claimed that the practice of double dipping chips could risk the spread of infectious diseases.