U.S. security officials weren't taking any chances, especially on Pope Benedict's XVI 81st birthday on Wednesday.
He was feted at a luncheon at the residence of his ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, and guests included members of his entourage, officers of the bishops' conference and U.S. cardinals.
The luncheon was catered by a local Italian restaurant, which also prepared a chocolate cake, with red icing, shaped like the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Security officers sent the cake through a magnetometer, or an airport-style metal detector, a Church communication official told OSV's Kimberely Heatherington.
There's no word whether someone taste-tested the cake for poison before passing a piece to the pope.