Okay to Double-Dip that Chip?

According to a famous Seinfeld episode, double-dipping is like, "putting your whole mouth right in the dip!" But just how bad is it? A 2009 study conducted at Clemson University aimed to find out.

Researchers carefully analyzed bacteria levels in dip—before and after a person double-dips. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Food Safety. Levels of bacteria increased significantly after a person bit a chip and then re-dipped it into the spread. How much more bacteria were present after double-dipping depended on the type of dip—salsa had more bacteria than thicker dips like cheese and chocolate.

It’s hard to say if double-dipping increases disease risk. But disease transmission is possible if a person who is sick with a cold or virus—even if he or she doesn’t know it yet—double-dips. Many viruses are spread through contact with saliva. Maybe we should all use a spoon to scoop dip for our chips onto a plate!

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