Any Seinfeld fan probably remembers that line, when “Timmy” accused George Costanza of double dipping. “Timmy” complained, “that’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip.” Now a new study conducted by Clemson University has measured just how much bacteria double dipping can actually transfer into the dip bowl. The answer – a lot.


According to the NY Times:

“A 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.”

Despite George’s dismissal of the idea that double dipping could transfer bacteria, the results of the study show otherwise:

“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.”

Something to consider before you double dip that chip at this weekend’s Super Bowl party.

45 Responses

  1. WWB

    But what if I dip a different side of the chip? Will the bacteria travel quickly enough to the other side of the chip to contaminate the dip? Clearly, more research in this area is needed.

  2. shatraw

    also, how does this compare to the bacteria transfered when slapping high five over brady’s broken leg or drinking someone else’s beer by mistake?

  3. Double Dipper

    i’ve been accused of double dipping on more than three occasions – perhaps i have been guilty. but i will never again. I apologize to those who have ever dipped after my double.

  4. Ruca Bangs

    The more afraid of/cautious about germs you are, the less immunities/weaker you become. Bacteria pretty much coats every single thing a million times over. Embrace your fear and dip away!

  5. dm

    Do you have any idea how few bacteria that is? Considering there are a few trillion in our gut! and about a billion in a single yogurt container.

  6. Travis

    Yeah. So, I’m not relly worried about 10 bacteria per bite unless it’s a HUGE bowl being shared by LOTS of double dippers. Silly.

  7. Lulz4Food

    I say cut out the middle man. Don’t double dip, just sit your face in the bowl. If you are going to spread bacteria then do it in a big way to be proud.

  8. big dippah

    “if it’s gonna be that kind of party then i’m gonna stick my d!ck in the mash potatoes”

  9. Darthballs

    I see, I see. Yes. But, what if the persons double-dipping the chips were Moops? Are Moops more or less bacteria transmittent than the persons used in this study? And what happens if, instead of chips, the dipped article was replaced with a marble rye? A thorough scientific study would include these questions and more.

  10. tatum

    That’s it…no more double dipping with bisexual Haitian junkie whores. Especially the ones with weeping lesions around the mouth and/or on the tongue. And they better start washing their goddamn hands after using the squat toilet we cut in the kitchen floor.

  11. etyer

    What of the viscosity of said dip? Wouldn’t a very thick dip prevent the spread of the bacteria to the rest of the dip in the bowl at a slower rate and keep it relatively close to the dipping location?

  12. Casey

    I died from double dipping.
    Fish Tanks cause bacteria too, I think it’s a huge problem really. We need to stop double dippers and aquarium owners, bacteria is always so detrimental and dangerous!

  13. Eick

    etyer –

    Great point. If you click over to the full NY Times article, they note that the study did take into account the viscosity of the dip.

  14. Mudguts

    “Something to consider before you double dip that chip at this weekend’s Super Bowl party.”

    No, it’s something you consider before dipping in the first place. Jeez.

  15. Cyde Weys

    Of course, this write-up completely fails to mention what type of bacteria those are, or whether 50-100 bacteria is actually a lot. It probably isn’t. Considering we have trillions of bacteria living within each of us (way more than the number of human cells that we have), and that the vast, vast majority of bacteria are completely harmless (despite what Lysol would like you to believe), is this really that big a deal?

    Far more bacteria are going to be transferred from mouth to mouth from a simple kiss than any amount of double-dipping.

  16. Jim

    Maybe their next study can be to count the number of bacteria transfered during ass to mouth sex.

  17. Mike

    3 Danged seconds per dip? Who in God’s name dips a chip for 3 seconds? In and out! No bacteria transfer! I think the 3 seconds was an afterthough. seeing as they more than likely proved that a simple “swipe dip” transfers next to no bacteria. Pfft. No more to see here folks. Move along.

  18. Olive the Other Reindeer

    Even though they didn’t name the type of bacteria that was transferred to the dip, the point is that if someone is sick or has cold or flu germs, it can contaminate the dip. Do you want to catch someone else’s cold or bug because they were “double-dipping”? Besides, I am particular about who I want to swap saliva with. There are some people that I don’t want to touch, never mind ingest their saliva germs. I’ve worked banquet events and had to go back to the kitchen to change the dipping sauce because someone that was sick decided to “double-dip”. Please have some consideration and think how you would feel if you got sick from someone who did that.

  19. Beast

    Who dips a chip for an entire three seconds? Seriously, try it next time! It seems an unnecessary eternity for chip-dipping.

  20. chubsoda

    So does this mean I cannot double-dip my penis into a woman after my buddy does her too? These are the questions I need anwers to.

  21. Nicole

    There is a difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria. I’ll only share with someone I’m close to like my best friends or family. But if they are sick… then NO WAY!


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