Gathered around the refreshment table at a party or barbeque, happily munching away on chips and salsa and catching up with old friends, it’s easy to lose track of what you are doing and double chip a chip or two. Many of us have probably been guilty of this — we at least know of a few friends who double dip from time to time.
However, as this video by Tech Insider shows, this practice spreads even more bacteria than you may have thought.
The researchers then performed the same experiment, using three types of sauces: cheese dip, chocolate syrup and salsa. While all of the sauces were found to contain more bacteria after being exposed to a half-eaten chip, the salsa was the worst. It contained five times more bacteria than the other two sauces after double dipped chip exposure.
Why would salsa be more of a bacteria trap than other sauces? The researchers hypothesize that it is probably because it is more like liquid. According to study leader Paul Dawson:
“The lower viscosity means that more of the dip touching the bitten cracker falls back into the dipping bowl rather than sticking to the cracker. And as it drops back into the communal container, it brings with it bacteria from the mouth of the double-dipper.”
On their results as a whole, the study authors wrote:
“Three experiments determined that the bacterial population of food dips increased due to the practice of ‘double-dipping,’ and that dip type can influence the dip’s bacterial population.”
Basically, when it comes to double dipping, just don’t do it, and don’t let your friends do it! Of course, it may be difficult to control what everyone does at a communal salsa bowl, so the wiser choice may be to serve salsa in individual ramekins, so that everyone can dip on their own plates and not contaminate the bowl. If someone at the party is sick, everyone could soon be feeling under the weather because of this unsanitary practice.
If you’re looking for a great party dip — for single dipping only! — check out this yummy and nutritious salsa recipe:
Also, check out these recipes for great party snacks. They include black bean salsa served on endives, shrimp satay, and Korean-style beef lettuce wraps. Healthy, creative, and tons of fun, as long as everyone keeps their germs to themselves!
— Tanya Rakhmilevich