Pats vs Eagles and the Dangers of Double Dipping

It’s old news, but it’s still depressing. In 2008, yet another year that the Patriots played in the Superbowl, the New York Times reported that researchers at Clemson University had looked into the likelihood that bacteria would be transferred by double dipping chips or crackers in a bowl of party dip. The scientists asked volunteers to take a bite of a wheat cracker and dip the cracker for three seconds into about a tablespoon of a test dip. They then repeated the process with new crackers, for a total of either three or six double dips per dip sample. And now the news: an analysis of the remaining dip revealed that, on average, three to six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from the eater’s mouth to the remaining dip. Because each cracker picked up between one and two grams of dip, sporadic double dipping in a cup of dip would transfer at least 50 to 100 bacteria from one mouth to another with every bite. The bottom line, says Clemson food microbiologist Prof. Paul L. Dawson, is this: “Before you have some dip at a party, look around and ask yourself, would I be willing to kiss everyone here?”

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