Shocking Study Proves Beer Pong Balls Carry Bacteria

The bacteria from beer pong balls transfers into the beer throughout the game.
The bacteria from beer pong balls transfers into the beer throughout the game.
Photo courtesy of Scott Beale

It's the classic college party game. Whether you've played beer pong or not, you are familiar with the simple concept -- throw ping-pong balls across a table in hopes of landing them in cups of beer on your opponent's side, so he or she has to drink it. The more your opponent has to drink, the closer you get to winning, and if he has to consume all the cups on his side, then you win.

Recently, the Associated Press reported that a study at Clemson University revealed beer pong balls may carry bacteria that are harmful to the body. Shocking news, I tell you.

The student researchers found the following bacteria on beer pong balls, which in turn transferred them into the beer held in the cups people threw the balls into:

  • Salmonella
  • Listeria
  • E. coli
  • Staph

How could this be true? You're just throwing ping-pong balls across the room into cups of beer. It's not like dirty hands have touched the ping-pong balls, they've fallen onto the ground where people have walked all over the place or they've rolled into the bathroom. Who are we kidding? Of course that's the reason why. It probably didn't take a group of researchers to tell you that beer pong balls carry bacteria, but thanks for sharing the news.

Although the study reported that about 90 percent of the bacteria on beer pong balls are harmless and you most likely won't get sick from them (I can't guarantee the same results from the alcohol), here are three ways you can clean off your beer pong balls to make sure they are spiffy clean.

1. Beer Pong Wash Cups

Just in case you get confused about which cup has water in it to clean the beer pong balls and which cups have beer in them, buy these beer pong wash cups. You'll never be confused again. Mainly because they say "Wash Your Balls" on the sides. Or, you know, you could just use a different color cup or write on a cup.

2. Change the Balls

If you want to be super-safe and germ-free, then switch out the beer pong balls whenever they hit the ground or touch something dirty, or just after five minutes, to decrease the amount of germs...because everyone wants to play beer pong with a hypersensitive germ freak.

3. Enlist Your Friends

If you're worried about the beer pong balls hitting the ground or rolling into the bathroom or under someone's chair, then have your friends line the table and catch them before they hit the ground. You can even require your friends to sanitize their hands with Purell to guarantee they have germ-free hands.

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