This past holiday weekend, American pop star Ariana Grande was filmed licking some donuts in a California bakery and then casually expressing her hatred for America. Grande has since apologized for the comments, but failed to acknowledge the donut-licking incident. While her actions were undeniably gross, we can’t help but wonder if licking someone else’s food is actually a public health concern.

Saliva gets a bad rap for being gross, and rightfully so; it’s literally filled with bacteria and viruses.

“The mouth is a perfect environment for growing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It’s warm and dark, food goes in there several times a day, and there are lots of little nooks and crannies where food can get caught,” said dentist and oral microbiologist Donna Mager, of the Forsyth Institute, a nonprofit group that focuses on oral and craniofacial research, as reported by Discover Magazine.

Some of the most common diseases which can spread through saliva are strep throat, the common cold, mumps, meningitis, herpes, mononucleosis, and more rare conditions such as foot-and-mouth disease, The Huffington Post reported.

With that being said, just because saliva is filled with germs does not necessarily mean it’s particularly dangerous. Ever wonder why animals instinctively lick their wounds? It could be that Fido is onto something that we’ve overlooked. Along with germs and pathogens, saliva is also filled with unique antibodies and antimicrobial compounds that help to disable these germs and viruses. Even HIV can be destroyed by oral antibodies, which is why it’s nearly impossible to pass on the virus through saliva.

Most of the bacteria in the mouth are anaerobic, meaning they cannot survive long in the presence of oxygen, or in the case of obligate anaerobes, cannot survive at all once they hit air. Some common examples of anaerobic bacteria include E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and C. botulinum. While each of these bacteria have different lifespans once they leave a body, one thing is for sure: Once they hit the air, the clock starts ticking. This means that, depending on the amount of time between Grande’s infamous donut licks and when that donut was eaten by an unsuspecting customer, the large majority of bacteria could have quite possibly died off quite soon after the moisture from her saliva dried up.

Now while bacteria may be sensitive to the outside world, viruses, on the other hand, are quite resilient. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis B can survive outside the body for at least seven days and still be capable of causing infection. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service reports that cold viruses have been shown to survive on surfaces for more than a week. Flu viruses have a shorter outside lifespan of only around a day, and stomach bugs, such as the norovirus, can last for weeks. With that being said, however, the effectiveness of the virus starts to decrease after about 24 hours of being outside of a host, so not too much cause for concern.

Regardless of the public health risk licking donuts may be, health authorities aren’t taking any chances. The bakery, Wolfee Donuts in California has reportedly received a docked health grade a day after the incidence was released to the public, and according to Perez Hilton, the Riverside Department of Environmental Health is currently investigating the incident and reviewing whether or not it is in violation of health codes. Considering that everything from diarrhea-inducing listeria to glass was found in food this year, a pint-sized pop star’s saliva is probably the very least of our concerns.