STUDY: Eww, Beer Pong Balls Could Make You Sick

By: Brandon Voss
4.18.2013

Bad news for all those gay sports leagues that continue to butch it up with beer pong at their social events.

Clemson University researchers have found that the ping pong balls used during the fratty drinking game — balls get tossed into beer cups, beer get guzzled, yada yada — may contain dangerous bacteria. In fact, the balls collected by student researchers from parties over a single weekend were covered in salmonella, listeria, E. coli, and staph — bacteria often transferred to the beer when the balls plopped into cups.

Are these findings really all that shocking? The website Barstool Sports put it best and bitchiest:

"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?"

So should beer pong be avoided, especially in light of the recent meningitis breakout? "Ninety percent of bacteria are probably harmless," says Clemson food science professor Paul Dawson. "But by virtue of sheer numbers, you're taking a chance of getting sick."

You know how the saying goes: Liquor before beer, you're in the clear; beer pong before anything, you're gross.

READER COMMENTS ()