February 3rd, 2012
04:30 PM ET
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"After double-dipping just a few times, researchers found 50 to 100 times more bacteria in the dip - and that was just from one mouth," says Sanjay Gupta.

We're gonna be waaaaaayyyyy over here with our own no-sharesies bowl of guacamole, thank you very much.

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Filed under: Dip • Health News • Holidays • Hot Messes • Sanjay Gupta • Staples • Super Bowl • Tailgating • Tainted Food

soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Leslie

    There are actually more germs on your fingers than in your saliva, so you're infecting the dip moreso by dipping and flipping.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  2. crazycatman

    I double-dip if my wife and I are the only ones eating. Any germs we have a community property already, anyway.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  3. fretlessbass

    I would have gone with 'Ewww... no gross and I don't eat anymore of whatever it is after I see it...' but if it's just my girlfriend and I eating something then I don't care. I don't even double dip in this situation, but I wouldn't care if she did.

    February 7, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  4. moribundman

    "You double-dipped!"

    I'm with George. It's disgusting.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  5. Sandy

    Double dipping doesn't bother me nearly as much as a colleague who used to lick her fingers after every piece of cake she served at company parties. Dessert has never been so easy to resist. As for double dipping, put a spoon in the bowl and give everyone a plate and the problem usually solves itself. No one wants to be tethered to the food table.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  6. oubie

    As the great American poet Kelly Clarkson says "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

    I personally know she burned that track after watching the mythbusters double dip episode.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  7. Laura

    Flip and dip! Dip a part of the chip/veggie that you haven't bitten off of... otherwise, it's a no-no... double dipping after you've eating off of a part of something is NOT OK!

    February 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Blaine

      eww...thats even worse. Dip the end that you have been holding with your fingers? How about people just scooping a little bit of dip onto a small plate. I'll never understand why people think a dip bowl is a community bowl.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  8. Nick

    I echo many others on this board and say that Mythbusters has already "busted" this myth! CNN needs to include a link to their findings so people aren't misled by this and can make their own conclusions.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Lelen

      I doubt they would do that because while MythBusters is enjoyable entertainment, it's far from scientific.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
      • meemee

        I agree with you that people shouldn't take "reality shows" like Myth Busters and Survivorman too seriously. However, it is true that a huge amount of bacteria is present in the air already. If you have a room full of people talking, coughing, laughing, AND eating from a table of food in opened containers, the chances that a double dip is going to be much of an addition to all the stuff already there isn't much. The short article said AFTER just a couple dips. What did they do, stir it all around and take samples? They ought to do a better study and supply a far larger report with some stats. In the case, it seems as if Myth Busters did the extra testing/thinking.

        February 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  9. Eric

    If I have more than one bite left of whatever it is that I'm eating, I do the dip-n-flip. Bite it in half, then flip the other half around so I dip the unbitten side.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Hm

      Dip and Flip? I guess you made sure to wash your hands often? Considering the mouth isn't just the only part of you that can contaminate the bowl.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
      • The Ghost of Emily Post

        @Hm, a voice or reason. Thank you.

        February 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
      • stupid

        or you could just hold it in the middle.....flip & dip! is that a catch phrase or epilepsy?

        February 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
      • Laura

        Yeah, do you NOT wash your hands before eating? I sure do, so they're clean while I'm snacking!

        February 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  10. Dave

    Mythbusters already showed that this isn't true! With their tests, they actually found that with some dips, they already had very high bacteria counts BEFORE anyone even touched them, let alone double-dipped in them! Dr. Gupta needs to get over himself & stop putting out bogus info!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  11. Guitarist85

    Didn't the Mythbusters bust this myth? They discovered there was already more bacteria in the dip than the human mouth.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  12. YAY

    I will put your goods in my mouth, but I won't eat any food it has touched

    February 6, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  13. Dave

    Don't eat the bar nuts... drunk people can be clumsy, use the bathroom a lot and don't tend to wash. Usually the bartender puts the remains at the end of the night back in a bag with the rest, theres probably a nut in there some guy's dong came in contact with days, weeks, months ago.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  14. Notafraidycat

    I really don't uderstand our society's recent horror of anything that hasn't been triple sterilized.
    If all this terror of germs is justified, it is baffling that the human race has survived as long as it has.

    February 6, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  15. Blurkey

    Mythbusters already determined that double dipping does nothing to increase bacteria count, and in fact your FOOD is way more filthy than your mouth. The chips contaminated the dip way more than their mouths did!

    February 6, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Mythbusters, Ph,D?

      Ok, enough about Mythbusters. Yes, they are entertaining and appear to be as thorough as they can be in what they test. But are you aware of the disclaimers they recite each episode? No? Maybe you should stop and watch that part sometime. Are you really willing to bet your health and those around you on what they tell you?

      February 6, 2012 at 10:40 am |
      • Notafraidycat

        "Are you really willing to bet your health and those around you on what they tell you?"

        Why, yes. Yes I am.

        Many of us have survived hundreds of pre-double-dip-taboo-caused-by-Jerry-Seinfeld parties.

        February 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • Mythbusters, Ph,D?

        @Notafraidycat, but a misdirecting alarmist. I said "health." I never said you could die from it. Someone who has crumbsn@tchers at home, brings those germs in and get all double dippy it all into your queso. Now everyone has the chance to catch a cold. That's all I'm saying.

        February 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  16. Chuck

    I put your hand upon my hip, when you dip I dip we dip...

    February 6, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • fretlessbass


      February 7, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  17. monah

    When I am with close friends I will at times. I can't remember all the times we've said "here, try a bite of this or taste this." And with my boyfriend? I never think twice about it. (But I won't use his toothbrush :) However, I keep in mind not to do so when out with a group of people; it's just good manners.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  18. Maverick2591b

    Sooooo...people shouldn't double-dip, yet we insist on sticking our tongues into each other's mouths when we kiss? Hey, I'm all for that!

    February 6, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • imsorrysir

      Maybe these folks carry small bottle of mouthwash and ask the partner to rinse before they are about to kiss. :-)

      February 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  19. Crystal

    There is absolutely no mention of whether or not any of the bacteria found in the test were bad bacteria. All of our bodies are teeming with millions of beneficial bacteria, some of which we couldn't live without. There is no beneficial information at all in this article or video.

    February 6, 2012 at 5:05 am |
  20. duh

    seriously, CNN? As stated below, BUSTED by mythbusters.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  21. The Ghost of Emily Post

    Regardless of Mythbusters and their methods, it is bad manners to double dip. If you're a knuckle-dragging neanderthal, then please double-dip to your heart's content. If I have witnessed you double-dipping, I will choose not to dip into that food for myself.

    I'm not concerned about germs for myself. It's a matter of manners. Do YOU know how healthy the rest of the people are who are eating out of that same bowl you just double dipped into? Have some consideration for others and please dip your dipper only once (we're talking about food). Those of you who believe the "dip & turn" method is acceptable, you are still putting the microbes from your hands into other peoples' food. Enjoy your Super dipping Bowls!

    February 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  22. jeezey

    Way i like to dip is to get a separate plate put somes chips on it then go to the dip and scoop a load out with my fingers and flick it onto the chips!

    February 4, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • jason

      I like your style. Thanks for the laugh.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:33 am |
  23. debbie

    just gob a big chunk of whatever, put the whole thing in your mouth and start over.
    nuff said.

    February 4, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  24. Victor

    Double-dipping is only okay if you are sharing with your significant other. Otherwise, no. In communal situations I'll dip both ends of a celery or carrot or whatever into the dip then eat it. Or, if there is a spoon or chips I'll put a big gob of dip on my plate or napkin and work that with the veggies and such.

    February 4, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  25. Lena Ferris

    I am 85 years old and have served and been served dips for years and years and never once even considered it to unhealhy or unsanitary. I see people eat unwashed grapes in the market, I think we all over react to some things and not to others. If my dips ever killed any one or made them sick, I did not get the memo!. I had a paranoid friend who would never open a door without using a tissue on the handle! Join the masses and eat a little dirt once in awhile. Build up your immune system! Try it, you'll like it!!!!

    February 4, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Slupdawg

      Yes, a voice of reason at last! I wonder how we ever got out of the stone ages.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:49 am |
  26. NoTags

    All the host/hostess has to do is provide small paper or plastic cups for their guests to put their dip in so they have their own source rather than a communal source. I really don't want to dip my chip or vegetable in a communal source that has other peoples saliva in it.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:32 am |
  27. sarah

    I am immunosupresed so If I'm with a group, I politely ask them not to double-dip. I will only double dip if its just myself and/or my husband eating.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:19 am |
  28. dee

    It depends on who's there. If it's close family, or my husband, etc, then whatever. Any other situation, double-dipping just isn't polite.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  29. toadears

    Depends on the person and their immune system. When you work with immune suppressed elderly patients and school children petrie dishes, you know it's best to be safe rather than sorry. I also take immune boosters from health food stores. Why should I have to come down with someone else's cold? Suit yourself.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:16 am |
  30. wondering

    Busted by Myth Busters as previously commented. Would there be a thousand times more bacteria if you triple dipped? If not, might as well.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  31. physnchips

    A lot of these comments have given me a belief that the US is a land of prudes and hypochondriacs. I don't see anything wrong with flipping my chip over to the uneaten side and not let the eaten part touch the dip.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • toadears

      The English would think you were hideously rude if you stood there dipping and slurping out of a community bowl as well.

      February 4, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  32. toadears

    It's simple. I used to do a lot of casual entertaining using sandwich trays, vegetables with dip, etc. I used one huge spoon for the dip and made certain that people dipped it out of the bowl onto their own individuals little saucers. I would start the party ritual so there was little to no confusion over how to serve themselves. All that spoon ever touched was the edge of porcelain saucers and the dip bowl.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  33. Erlinda

    I know someone who not only double-dips, but brushes the salt/spice residue from the chip that said person double dipped with – over the dip or platter of dippers. When I attend a function that this person attends, I stick to the non-dippable finger foods. Yuck!

    February 4, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  34. Koz

    Myth Busters disproved this myth. They concluded that foods already have a certain level of bacteria and the act of double dipping adds only a few more microbes. I know that it's gross and I choose not to do it but it isn't going to kill you.

    February 4, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  35. Darrell

    Its gross to double dip. And an even worse thing is the snack bowls on the bar. Guys go in the restroom and relieve themselves, don't wash their hands, then hit the snack bowls. Sounds yummy huh?

    February 4, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  36. jim

    Dr Sanjay probably sterilized his infants glass baby bottles in the oven and replaced the bottle nipples with new ones at every feeding.

    February 4, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  37. Bryan Venable

    Honestly Dr. Gupta people ate communally for thousands of years why is it just now a problem?

    February 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • DrPepper

      Yes, people also grew to the old age of 30 and dropped dead.

      February 4, 2012 at 12:37 am |
      • Tom

        Yes, hundreds of bacteria were found after 1 double dip. Guess what, those bacteria are common to all of us, so in fact there is no difference. Besides, we have an immune system for a reason. Furthermore, you put a lot more disgusting bacteria in your mouth from your hands than you do from double dipping.

        February 4, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  38. Terra

    meanwhile in Africa

    February 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • kim

      what do starving children have to do with double dipping? the dip is not going to waste... everyone can just serve themselves on their plate or make it a 1 time dip

      February 4, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  39. kyle

    The more significant problem is not the double dipping, it is the fact you are leaving a creamy milk product out at room temperature for hours and hours.

    February 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  40. Diana34

    I will double dip if I'm the only one eating from the pot.

    February 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  41. Sunny

    Yeah OK, but really, what's REALLY going to happen? Humans are supposed to be exposed to each other's bacteria. It's how we strengthen our immune systems. We are such a "sterile" society – it's ridiculous. Many places in the world serve meals "family style" with everyone eating off of the same plate!

    I say, unless you have a very compromised immune system, stop being a pansy about "germs."

    February 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • JOELC

      So, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger?

      February 4, 2012 at 12:08 am |
      • jim

        yes, how do you think vaccines work? what doesn't kill you DOES in fact make you stronger. Do you understand the workings of the immune system? Or not?

        February 4, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  42. Lizzy10

    Did no one see Contagion? Yuck, bar peanuts and a sickly Gwenyth Palltrow were enough to convince me; no more communal food, much less a double dip.

    February 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Keith

      Uh, that wasn't a documentary, was it?

      February 4, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  43. Geoff

    I hate this world...

    February 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  44. Ariel

    In their experiment, the MythBusters used chips with regular dip and salsa. In the control test, they put the untouched dip and salsa into petri dishes, and followed with double dipped dip and salsa, and finally dip and salsa that had been put in Adam and Jamie's mouths. However, when they examined their results, they found that the dip and salsa were already loaded with microbes. For a more accurate experiment, the MythBusters were forced to sterilize all their testing materials with radiation and create a sterile environment. Examining the results, the MythBusters found that double dipping produced less microbes than putting all the dip in a person's mouth. Also, the amount of microbes present was negligible compared to the amount found in regular dip.

    February 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
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