Let’s say that you’re at a social gathering and they have a delicious plate of snacks with a variety of dipping sauces. I have the pressure to scoop the perfect amount of dipping sauce in order to savor the condiments flavor for my next several bites. I was taught that it’s common courtesy to not double dip in a public setting. Usually when I’m with my friends though that rule flies out the window. Do we actually contaminate the sauce if we double dip and how severe is it?
According to this research done by the Dept. of Food Science & Human Nutrition at Clemson University, to test the theory of contamination of the dipping sauce and whether or not we transfer germs the researchers re-enacted the act of double dipping, using a Wheat Thin cracker and sterile water. Their experimental study included bitten(independent variable) and not bitten(controlled) pieces of Wheat Thins and immediately after dipped their chip into the sterile water. Their dependent variable is the germ results on the petri dish. Their results weren’t surprising and we have to reject the null hypothesis that double dipping does nothing to the defilement of the dipping sauce. As we bite into a food item there are bits of germ particles remaining where the bite is.
According to this article by Michelle Jarvie that bases off of the research study above, the results of that study discovered a count of over 10,000 bacteria to be transferred to the dip between three to six times of double dipping.
The famous show Mythbusters did a experimental study you on this topic as well and found different results. According to the experimenters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman the results weren’t as drastic as the results in the previous study discussed above. By using a similar method with a sterilized chip and sauce that resembles salsa their results showed that double-dipping only increases the bacteria count slightly in the dipping sauce. Apparently the sauce already comprises of bacteria adding a few more wouldn’t be detrimental to your health.
It’s interesting that two different studies showed different results. There could have been human error, chance, or a different variable that may have affected the results of the studies.
The simple task you can do if you want to avoid any kind of germs revolving around double dipping, simply have your own sauce or just don’t eat it at all.
Here’s(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYxccSTDH4k) a video of the myth busters doing the double dipping experiment: