You can name something people enjoy — anything at all — and it won’t be long before some wet blanket comes along to ruin it for everyone.
And here’s the latest: Blowing out birthday candles is bad for you.
Not the candles. Not the cake. Not even one too many birthdays.
Just the very act of blowing out the candles — repeated daily in homes and restaurants around the world — can turn your party into a petri dish and eventually make everyone sick.
When you huff, puff, and blow those candles out, you do more than make a wish for world peace (or, more likely, a winning lottery ticket). You increase the bacteria of the sugary frosted topping of the cake by 1,400 percent, according to the hysterics published in the Journal of Food Research.
But… so what?
Bacteria are in us, on us, and around us all the time. We’re constantly swapping germs whether we know it or not.
Most of the ones we’re passing around are harmless (or at least neutral), and even the ones that CAN make you sick often DON’T. If you’re in otherwise good health, your own immune system can work with the stash of good bacteria in your body to wipe out the bad ones.
The result is that you don’t get sick, even when you’ve been exposed to some nasty little critters that someone blew onto your slice of birthday cake.
Now, OBVIOUSLY blowing out candles will spread some germs, and not ALL of them will be harmless in EVERY instance.
And just as obviously, you shouldn’t hack and wheeze onto a cake other people are going to eat if you’re sick.
But if blowing out candles were really THAT dangerous, birthday parties would look like Jonestown.
So, use a little common sense. If you’re sick, don’t blow your germs around — whether it’s on a cake or anything else. If you’re at a birthday party, and someone who’s obviously not 100 percent blows out the candles with a huff, a puff, and a cough, you might want to pass on the cake.
And if you’ve got a compromised immune system, be careful in all situations where you might swap germs, including wheezed-on cake… or anything else that’s been dripped and drooled upon.
But if you’re otherwise healthy, consider a birthday party the one and only good excuse to ever dig into a slice of cake — because there’s something far worse for your body than any of the germs blown onto it, and that’s all the sugar and flour.