Clemson University researchers found that beer pong balls may carry dangerous bacteria, The Associated Press reported.
The balls collected by student researchers from parties over one weekend found salmonella, listeria, E. coli and staph, according to the AP. The study found a high level of bacteria transferred to the beer when balls went into cups.
For those unaccustomed to drinking games of the youth, beer pong is played by tossing ping pong balls across a table into cups of beer (sort of like the bucket game from Bozo the Clown). If one lands a ball in a cup, their opponent must drink the beer from the cup.
Oh you mean those balls that get touched by hundreds of college students a night? Those round pieces of plastic that are rolled around in countless hands and bounce on disgusting frat house floors, sometimes rolling under the couch or into the bathroom? Those things are dirty you say?
A hoax spread on the Internet in 2009 linked beer pong to herpes. That rumor started with news outlets picking up a fake story from a humor website, before it was eventually debunked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is a small amount of good news for any devoted beer pong players: sickness is not guaranteed.
"Ninety percent of bacteria are probably harmless," Clemson food science professor Paul Dawson told the AP. "But by virtue of sheer numbers, you're taking a chance of getting sick."