January 31st, 2008

I Told You So

From The Consumerist:

If you object to George Costanza’s habit of double dipping—now you have a scientific study to back it up.

The study was conducted by Prof. Paul L. Dawson, a food microbiologist, who decided to experiment with “double dipping” after watching a Seinfeld re-run in which a character named “Timmy” objects to George’s dubious dipping habits.

Professor Dawson told the New York Times that he expected “little or no microbial transfer” as a result of double dipping.

He was wrong.

Double dippers are just as gross as you’ve always suspected:

The team of nine students instructed 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. The team then analyzed the remaining dip and counted the number of aerobic bacteria in it. They didn’t determine whether any of the bacteria were harmful, and didn’t count anaerobic bacteria, which are harder to culture, or viruses.

There were six test dips: sterile water with three different degrees of acidity, a commercial salsa, a cheese dip and chocolate syrup.

On average, the students found that three to six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from the eater’s mouth to the remaining dip.

Each cracker picked up between one and two grams of dip. That means that sporadic double dipping in a cup of dip would transfer at least 50 to 100 bacteria from one mouth to another with every bite.

Yuck. So, what now? “The way I would put it is, before you have some dip at a party, look around and ask yourself, would I be willing to kiss everyone here? Because you don’t know who might be double dipping, and those who do are sharing their saliva with you,” says Professor Dawson.

Germs. You can’t trust ’em.

11 Comments on “I Told You So”

  1. M. Kate says:

    I'm sure it wasn't nearly as scientific when we conducted this test in my Food Science class in undergrad but we had similar results…that's why you always see spoons in dip at Melissa's house along with a stack of plates near by…but there's a George in the crowd I suppose.

    EDUCATION, by dear friends is key…thanks for aiding the cause, Mup. :)

  2. Dana says:

    Yes, thanks for that lovely image I have conjured up in my head now.

  3. Lorelei says:

    Just another thing to keep you up at night…..

  4. Jeremiah says:

    Ah, what a great episode!

    What i do in order not to double dip is to break up what ever i am eating…be a chip or piece of bread…and just dip the more "bite size" chip/bread in order to maximize the amount of dip i can consume! I know i need help, but hey you probably already knew that!

    Just think about those community bag of chips, when you reach in with your hands multiple times…hope all have washed their hands! Yum! (besides that is why God created stomach acid!)

  5. Smoothie King says:

    See, God knew there were be double dipping!

  6. Eric says:

    Throw into the mix that only about 80% of people wash their hands after using the bathroom and I think it is safe to say that the Super Bowl party buffet line could use more serving utensils.

  7. Mel Eik says:

    Paranoia anyone? There are germs EVERYWHERE, on EVERY surface you touch!

  8. Smoothie King says:

    Hmmm…that's sounds good…I'll have some!

  9. The Big Guy says:

    I've been dipp'n for years. And drinking out of the OJ container if it is almost gone.

  10. Sizzledowski says:

    I've shared this w/ many people. Thanks!

  11. G-Knee says:

    I encourage double dipping. I also encouraged sick kids to attend preschool. The REASON?? Too many people overprotect their kids, thereby resulting in weaken immune systems that can't fight of the puniest of colds. I agree with Jeremiah. That's why God gave us stomach acid.

    Go ahead kids – Eat your mud pies…and forget the server spoons tonight – we're going – DOUBLE DIPPING!

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