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Beer Pong: One of the Dirtiest Games Ever

Update Date: Apr 17, 2013 12:02 PM EDT

Beer Pong is one of the most, if not the most, popular drinking games to ever be created. It has shown up in movies and has popularized the red cup, which is the standard cup to use in this activity. Despite that fact that it is a drinking game, people should be more concerned about the possible germs being spread as opposed to developing a beer belly. Although it might be obvious for some beer pong players and spectators that the game can get quite dirty as the ping pong ball tends to fall on the floor and get touched by numerous hands, a research study decided to look into just how dirty these ping pong balls were.

A team of researchers from Clemson University decided to inspect ping pong balls that were used in beer pong games after homecoming weekend, which was bound to be full of partying. This weekend occurred at the beginning of the school year during fall semester. Even though people might not be surprised to hear that these balls are extremely dirty, they might be shocked to find out what kinds of bacteria and germs these researchers found. After testing the ping pong balls, the researchers discovered a long list of bacteria, many of which might not cause serious health complications for the players. However, there were a few instances of dangerous bacteria, which included salmonella, E. coli, listeria and staph. These bacterial infections can cause pain and severe damage if left untreated.

The researchers found that balls that were used in outdoor games tended to have three million tiny organisms, where as balls used in carpeted rooms contained 200. The researchers also studied how bacteria transferred and found that there was a high level of contamination happening in the beer and not just via contact with the hands or floor.

The researchers conducted this study under the Clemson's Creative Inquiry program in which student researchers aim to answer scientific questions asked by fellow students via experimentation and planned studies. The program is headed by the food science professor, Paul Dawson who stated, "it's a learning experience, but I try to make it interesting and fun."

Although the majority of the bacteria exposed to humans might not be life threatening, it might be time to change and improve certain aspects of the game. 

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