MYTH: DOES DOUBLE-DIPPING REALLY SPREAD GERMS?
Explanation: This myth gathered steam after a Seinfeld episode aired in which George Costanza was caught in the socially unacceptable act of double-dipping. The theory here is that double-dipping — placing a chip in dip, biting off the chip and then placing it again into the dip — spreads as much bacteria in the dip as if you’d stuck your whole mouth in the bowl. So, MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman set out on a bacteria-finding mission with somewhat surprising results.
By testing bacterial growth in petri dishes using sterilized chips and a salsa-like substance, they found that double-dipping adds just a small amount of bacteria to the salsa, and definitely not as much as sticking your mouth in the bowl.
The truth is that most dips — store-bought or homemade — already contain bacteria. Double-dipping adds only a few more microbes than the multitude swimming in your salsa to begin with.
So, if you want your dip to stay totally bacteria-free, it looks like you’re out of luck. But if you want to keep your germs to yourself, your best bet is to just eat out of your own private bowl.
As seen in “MythBusters: Banana Slip, Double Dip.”