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Blowing out birthday cake candles: Unhygienic or a harmless tradition?

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Should blowing out candles become a thing of the past? [Photo: Getty]

While many of us may have grown out of blowing out birthday candles, numerous children globally still take part in the age-old tradition.

But do parents need to stop kids letting loose on the candle-blowing front? Apparently, yes.

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The matter was brought to light by a viral clip of US politician Mitt Romney blowing out his birthday candles by lifting them out of the cake one by one and blowing them out individually.

He later explained the reason for his unusual method to TMZ, telling them he had “a bit of a cold” and didn’t want to give anyone his germs.

So is he being paranoid, or, actually, should parents be teaching their children to do the same?

According to a 2017 study, we should all follow Romney’s example (when it comes to candles, that is).

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Researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina spread icing over foil and added birthday candles on top.

The subjects were then asked to eat pizza (as you might at a birthday party, but also to stimulate saliva) before blowing out candles.

The results found blowing out candles over an icing surface increases bacteria present by 1400%.

Blowing out candles isn’t the only unhygienic habit you might be practising.

Recent research carried out by MoneySavingHeroes found that a whopping 61 percent of men and 37 percent of women regularly use their phone on the toilet.

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