There’s an old Seinfeld episode where George double-dips a chip at a funeral. Immediately, his girlfriend’s brother jumps in his face and says “that’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip!” Nevertheless, George refused to stop double-dipping (not surprisingly), but should you?
A new study tested to see whether double-dipping does in fact transfer bacteria from a person’s mouth to a dip. Participants either dipped without taking a bite or double-dipped into a salsa, chocolate or cheese dip. The researchers found virtually no bacteria in the dips that had not been double-dipped. However, there was a significant amount of bacteria in the double-dipped dips, with the salsa containing 1,000 bacteria/ml!
This should be of concern because previous studies have found that saliva droplets can transmit pneumonic plague, tuberculosis, influenzas, Legionnaires’ disease and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Double dipping significantly increases the risk of harmful bacteria transfer from one person to another. If you’re a double-dipper yourself, try to stop. If you’re at a party, steer clear of the community dips unless you’re one of the first ones there.
Trevino, Judith, et al. “EFFECT OF BITING BEFORE DIPPING (DOUBLE‐DIPPING) CHIPS ON THE BACTERIAL POPULATION OF THE DIPPING SOLUTION.” Journal of food safety 29.1 (2009): 37-48.