Can double dipping really spread diseases?

Hands up who remembers the Seinfeld episode where Costanza committed the ultimate social faux pas and double-dipped his chip?

We all know public double-dipping is, well, a bit gross. But just how bad is it for your health?

Fortunately, researchers at Clemson University did a simple experiment to answer this burning question by measuring exactly how much bacteria is transferred from bitten chip to a variety of dips. They also measured how long the bacteria survived in each type of dip tested.

Out of tomato salsa, cheese dip and chocolate sauce, salsa fared the worst in terms of bacterial concentration, holding up to five times more bacteria than it’s mouthwatering counterparts. The researchers thought this may be to do with the watery consistency of salsa.

On the plus side, the acidic properties of tomatoes means that whilst salsa gets very contaminated, the bacteria don’t last long.

So rather than relying on pathology to help identify what bug you’ve picked up, try to dodge those double dip offenders at your next party. Learn more at this article in The Conversation