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. Steve

    Yes, this was busted as a myth. It is really sad that a doctor is now touting is as truth based on some research he never looked at. Come on CNN, you can do better then trying to pass off fables as fact.

    February 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
  2. CatSh

    I only double-dip when eating alone. Mainly to be polite. If someone else does it I have no problems enjoying the dip. Of all the many ways people share microbes, this is just one more. The worst flu I ever had I got using someone else's phone. Double dipping is probably no worse than kissing or hugging – or shaking hands – how do you know he washed his hands after visiting the bathroom two hours ago? I have no fear of most common bacteria and I believe in the 5 second rule!

    February 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  3. Jcdew

    Just remember the person making the dip is getting minimum wage,expect what you give.

    February 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  4. Whatever

    People are starving other places in the world but here we worry about double dipping?
    Should be thankful we are eating!

    February 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  5. Ken

    Over a year ago my wife had a friend over for dinner. She is a beautiful, classy lady but when I saw her double dip a pretzel into an hors d'oeuvres it grossed me out. Like, super icky. Yuck. Mama! I want to kiss her but she just cannot stick her saliva-coated pretzel into that dip! Nuff said.

    February 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  6. dwt

    Yes, but kissing is super-sanitary, of course. I mean really, are all the germ-freaks really only willing to kiss as if they're throwing themselves off a cliff in thrall to a temporary endorphin rush? Or maybe they grin and bear it for the sake of their unfortunate partners?

    February 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  7. Joe

    I got into a fist-fight a year ago in my son's classroom, at a 3rd-grade party, over double-dipping. They had a bowl of ranch, with some carrots, celery, etc., and little plates next to it. One of the boys in the class, who was actually sick at the time, double-dipped a carrot into it and I said "Hey, hey... we don't double-dip our food like that". His hot-head dad piped up "YOU GOT A PROBLEM, YOU COME TO ME" and pushed me. He obviously wasn't aware that I was a collegiate wrestler and have been hardcore into teaching MMA the last 9 years.

    Luckily, because there was a classroom of witnesses who saw him shove me and then throw the first punch, I didn't get arrested and the judge ruled that I would not be responsible for his dental bills. More importantly, I'm guessing his son learned a valuable lesson about double-dipping... as well as probably the rest of the class.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  8. Michael

    only double dip with my significant other... we "double dip" everything else right?

    February 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  9. bman

    When people finally live a completely sterile lifestyle is when we will get killed by an unknown alien virus.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  10. RobertC

    Don't leave your home. Never go to parties. Avoid other people at all costs. Always eat alone. Never share anything with anybody. Then you will be safe. And healthy. And very, very boring.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Eric Holder

      Hold this and you won't be lonely in Mom's basement any longer.

      February 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  11. Arick

    Everyone's mouth (and body) is teeming with bacteria. Heck, you have as much as 10lbs of bacteria in/on your body. This is true no matter how clean you think you are.

    That said, I will only double dip with my wife. It isn't like we don't share bacteria in every other way.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  12. Dan

    Not only do I double dip, I rape the party host afterwards.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Ploni

      the host or hostess?

      February 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
      • RobertC

        Both! That's why it's called "double" dipping.

        February 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Dan

      Whichever one has the nicer butt.

      February 3, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
      • Ploni


        February 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Michael


      February 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  13. Chrissy

    Double-dipping is just rude and nasty! Have some manners people.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  14. Ploni

    Good looking people have less germs

    February 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  15. sameeker

    Another example of the wimpification of America.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  16. David

    People who double dip are clueless morons! These are the same people who wear spandex when they are 60lbs over weight, pick their nose in public, and the same nasty people that say it's no big deal. It's NASTY!!! I don't want your nasty spit on my food. My wife, no problem, someone I'm eating lunch with, NAsty!! And to all you morons saying this is no big issue, and people should be concrened about bigger problems, SHUT IT! This article is about double dipping, not world peace!!

    Okay, got that off my chest.. Also, same NASTY people who bring their nasty little dogs to your house when they come over.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Abe

      Amen to that!

      February 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • MB all the way

      I guess you're not a dog person. You can't be trusted.

      February 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • The Dog Whisperer@David

      I always French kiss my poodle,SacreBleu, before eating at a new place. Her mouth is so much cleaner than mine.

      February 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • RobertC

      Well, aren't you the life of the party.

      February 3, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  17. Kude

    Ugh. I absolutely hate it when others touch my food. Don't touch it, don't taste it, and definitely don't put it back with my food after you bit it. Same goes for double dipping. Touch your own food.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Lisa

      So you never eat at restaurants and only prepare your own food then?

      February 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  18. Michael Petroff

    What the hell people? Can't you just enjoy life and move on? Food has been consumed through sharing for centuries, and I am yet to hear a case of someone dying because a bacteria got into their food. Seriously, I think Americans will destroy themselves in their pursuit of ultimate perfection. Your children all have asthma, auto immune diseases, and are allergic to a laundry list of normal, natural ingredients. And if you look at research, this evolution has happened just over the last 50 years. Another 50 years, and you won't even survive to be 50 due to lack of immune protection. Relax, Enjoy life. Just because you can SEE that someone double dips, it doesn't mean that there are not THOUSANDS of other occasions when so many people mess with your food unintentionally at restaurants and social occasions, and you are all well and healthy. Cheers.

    PS: My favorite is the woman in one of the comments who was happy that her husband doesn't double dip. Phew, thanks Jesus he is not double dipping, just kissing you (assuming they do that in her household). You lady are already immune to his bacteria, otherwise you would have been dead by now. I love this country.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Peter

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million foodborne illness cases occur in the United States every year. At least 128,000 Americans are hospitalized, and 3,000 die after eating contaminated food.

      "According to 2010 estimates, norovirus in the most common of the known pathogens, responsible for 5.4 million illnesses and 149 deaths each year."

      February 4, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  19. MB all the way

    Myth Busters BUSTED this one! The showed that the food already had more bacteria than double dipping contributed.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Abe

      Still no need to add more

      February 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • Ariel

        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 9:21 pm |
    • Abe

      If I can I prefer to buy fruit packed in plastic bags. My friend called me "mad" and said that just because it's in plastic bags it doesn't mean no-one has touched it. To which I replied, and so? Just because one person has touched it doesn't mean EVERYONE needs to touch my food. As far as i'm concerned the less people who interfere with my food the better.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
      • Caroline

        People touching fruits is nothing. Rinse them. And then what of the toxic chemical Bisphenol A in the plastic directly into contact with the fruit, fruitcake.

        February 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • RobertC

      Think how much more pleasant life was before we could measure bacteria and worry ourselves for nothing.

      February 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
      • Abe

        Probably got more stomach upsets but didn't know what caused them

        February 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • The Question

      They also found lobbing cannonballs through the walls while eating chips and dip is frowned upon.

      February 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
      • kittygoespewpew

        Bahahahaha! Love this. :D

        February 4, 2012 at 2:48 am |
  20. Chipper

    I only double dip if it's a family member I'm with.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • JOE


      February 3, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  21. Mack

    If you're willing to kiss everyone on the mouth at the party who is dipping, then why not? If you wouldn't then don't do it! Anyone else think it's kinda gay for guys to double dip from the same bowl?

    February 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      Good point. Dr. Gupta needs to do the same study, but test for cooties instead of germs.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
      • A Berryman

        Hahah! Love it!

        February 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
      • Cleshea with The Best Juicers

        Oh goody. I don't have to worry about cooties because I got those from this boy when I was 6...so I'm pretty sure I'm immune ; )
        Best Juicers

        February 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Abe

      not everything equates to sexuality in this world

      February 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • RobertC

      Dip your dingus in the guacamole, and I'll lick it off. Yum.

      February 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  22. Ravensun

    Dr. Gupta, I am sick and tired of your fear-mongering. Everything – EVERYTHING! – is horriblebadawful and we're all going to diiiiiiieeeee if we do it. Puh. LEEZ. Give me a break.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Ravensun

      That said, at a party with a food line, it's considered good behavior to scoop some dip onto a plate and get out of the way so someone else can get at the dip, and not just stand there like a pig at a trough, but that doesn't stop some slobs, either...

      February 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  23. Truitt

    I never double dip, I flip!

    February 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Slop Eater

      So you're putting in germs from your fingers. I hope you wash your hands well after you wipe your a. s. s.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
      • Truitt

        I would hope everyone would wash their hands before touching food..

        February 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  24. SJ

    I usually put some dip on my plate. SInce I am the only one eating from my plate (hopefully), I can double dip. Generally I don't do dip most of the time, so it doesn't matter to me.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  25. Gardengirl

    If I am eating it myself, sometimes if I put a one time serving on my plate. If I eat with others I do not and I get grossed out when they double dip. I have a friend who double dips all the time at events at a group to which I belong. I try to get to the food before she does, otherwise I know I'm eating her spit. Gross!

    February 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  26. Lathario

    I always double dip the honey pot!

    February 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  27. Slop Eater

    Really Sanjay, antacid has more to do with bacteria? Try stress and crappy food. An acid stomach has nothing to do with food borne illness... surgeons... GEEZUS!

    The fact is that hyper-cleanliness does just as much damage to us as filth. It's called the hygiene hypothesis, and relates the increases in autoimmune disorders to the lack of exposure to antigens when people are young.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Rob

      If at all possible, I tend to avoid antibacterial hand soaps...

      February 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  28. Kevin

    We should be more concerned about the dips ingredients. Thousands of years of Human immune system evolution can take care of the bacteria, but not the trans fats, and other chemicals and on and on and on..........

    February 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Abe

      I don't want spit to be part of the ingredients either

      February 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  29. ModSquad

    I only double dip when nobody else is in the room. Oh wait.......You're talking about chips, aren't you? Never mind.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Dish

      Haha .. :D

      February 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  30. Abe

    It's the 11th Commandment

    "Thou shalt never double dip"

    February 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  31. KSK

    I double dip because it strengthens my immune system. More times I get sick now, the less times I will get sick when I am old because I already have all the Ab's! Ever heard of the hygiene hypothesis?!

    February 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • roshinobi

      How does double dipping strengthen YOUR immune system? All you're doing is disrespecting the rights of other people to not eat your spit.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Abe

      A person is probably most infectious before they've started displaying any symptoms.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Not True!

      Oh my, you are not doing your immune system some favor! The cold or flu that you catch now will not be the same virus that you will catch a year or years from now! They evolve too quickly. You'll just keep catching different colds and flus or goodness knows what else over and over again.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  32. Fiona

    Honestly..I see the most horrifying things posted here, but the robocensor refuses my post for common, unoffensive words. I'll try again. My dis gusting mother-in-law monster double dips. I once let her taste my entree at a restaurant because she was eying it so covetously. She li cked the spoon after tasting and dug it back in the food for more. I handed the entire thing over to her.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  33. Ashleigh

    Mythbusters busted this.
    Double dipping adds bacteria because people have a lot of bacteria in their mouths. And most of it is good bacteria, the kind that helps digest food and fights off infection and all that. Just because it's bacteria doesn't mean it's bad. I don't double dip because I know other people are squeamish and I'll respect that, but unless the double dipper is sick, you'll be just fine.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Abe

      According to that theory it should be ok if a waiter spits in your food. Actually he is helping you out and should get an extra tip.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
      • Rob

        I fail to see how spitting in someone's food is identical to double-dipping... Not sure about everyone else but I don't wrap my lips around my food and then dip again. That would look and BE just weird. Next time you see someone eating chips and dip, watch how they put it in their mouth. They're more than likely breaking off the chip with their teeth, which unless they have a tendency to drool a lot (I guess some people do?), their teeth won't have much at all to deposit back on the rest of the chip.

        Also, double-dipping is an honest mistake for some people who aren't thinking about the social ramifications. Spitting in someones' food? Um... Honest mistake? No.

        February 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
      • Abe

        Ok. I brought an extreme example to prove a point. Either way someone elses spit ends up in your food. Not nice at all. Never double dip!

        February 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  34. Fiona

    My disgusting mother-in-law monster double dips. I once let her taste my dish at a restaurant because she was eying it so covetously.. She licked the spoon after tasting and stuck it back in the food for more. I handed the entire thing over to her.

    Manners and common sense, people. Please.

    February 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  35. Loren

    At home, I have my own private bowl and I don't mind dipping after my spouse (he rarely double dips, though); when I'm out (family or friends) I won't dip the edge I just bit but occasionally I will rotate the dipping object to an untouched side. Sampling things in stores, I use the usually provided spoon, but if I see someone double dipping i won't try the sample. Generally, though, I prefer to have my own dish of dip.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  36. jennifer

    I take a few tablespoons, place it on or in something and double,triple dip away and go home with the same bugs I came in with:)

    February 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  37. ann west

    👎 I guess these double dippers are the same ones that ask people what they do for a living in the 1st sentence , or better yet how much do you make, how much was your house or rent . They also ask non whites where they're from. As if only whites are American . No class ❕ And no I don't want your rotten mouth germs on my food.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Rob

      Heh... way to generalize.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Fiona

      That practice of asking what you "do" on first meeting is a bugaboo of mine, too. It's code for are you important enough to bother with and should I be threatened by you. It's rude. Few people understand the art of conversation these days. Parties often end up as "get the guest.". I agree: no class.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
      • Chuck

        OR.... it's code for I know absolutely nothing about you and need a starting place to try to find some common ground to have a conversation. It seems more like you are insecure about what you do for a living and feel like people judge you based on that.

        February 6, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Eric

      Hey do you touch things or breath or shake hands or hug or kiss or use the bathroom or use a soap dispenser or dry your hands or to be continued... Its the morons like you who over generalize for one and are hyper sensitive that ruin it for us all. Life is a risk no matter what. Double dipping is the least of your concerns. If it concerns you more you must not know the chaos of the world we live in.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
      • Rob


        February 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Skinny Dipper@ann west

      C'mon in,the Guacamole is fine...maybe it will get rid of that hairy mole right between your eyes.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • A

      How does an article about double dipping turn into a racist rant against whites?

      February 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Chuck

      I'm white... and I ask EVERYONE where they're from, white or non-white... It's one of those general questions I always ask like... what do you do... But if it bothers you, I guess I could only ask white people where they are from, but I don't really feel like trying to remember who I'm supposed to treat how. It's too much trouble not to treat everybody the same.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • meemee

      You're doing exactly what you're accusing other of doing! "I guess those "double dipper types" are racist whites.... I can tell you that George Costanza is NOT a racist, but he double dips. I saw that on a documentary called Seinfeld. He proved he wasn't a racist in a different episode. So much for your theory – bigot!

      February 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  38. sharoom

    50-100 times more bacteria in the dip...that means there was originally some bacteria in the dip regardless of double-dipping.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • meemee

      We need to know a lot more about this. They said that happened after just a few dips. What happened? Did they stir it all up before they took samples? Do you think bacteria could duplicate so fast that it would change the entire bowl of dip in – how many minutes? See what I mean? Some big holes in this.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  39. hawkechik

    Only if it's just me and my husband. If there's company involved, or I'm the company, I'll either break up a large chip if it's a large one or choose smaller chips.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  40. Bulla

    I double dip all the time and make sure I sneeze and slobber all over the dish too. I often put my hands in the dish too after using the bathroom and not washing my hands.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  41. Dr. Demento

    Who needs cheeps, I use my Fingers.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • meemee

      I'm with you. We don't have to use no stinking cheeps!

      February 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  42. LAUR

    I dip and bite, then rotate and dip again. So it's multiple dipping but multiple surfaces

    February 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • jellylee2020

      That's what I do too =)

      February 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Loren

      I do that occasionally, usually with over-large vegetable pieces. But I prefer to use a spoon to get more dip for the veg. I try to never dip the side/edge i just bit from.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  43. Anna

    I dip different parts of the chip or veggie or whatever it is I'm dipping.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  44. Trish

    Even when I'm eating by myself I tend to flip the chip/cracker/vegetable over to the unbitten side when I go in for a second time. When I'm in public or with extended family I put enough on the item I'm eating so I don't have to go back.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  45. Kyle

    You dip the way you want to dip, and I'll dip the way I want to dip!

    February 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  46. Tammy

    Only after my spouse!

    February 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  47. The Hyneman

    The Mythbusters already did it! It even included the Seinfeld reference.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Rob

      It's stories like these by CNN that make me want to post the pic of the guy running late for the train leaving the station, with the captions, "Everyone else" (pointed at the train) and "You" (pointed at the guy running and waving his arms).

      February 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
      • dan

        "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."

        February 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  48. Rob

    Didn't Mythbusters already bust this one?

    February 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Sparky

      They sure did – what was sad they couldn't even do the test on regular food since the chips and dip left out in the open air already had more germs then any one person could imagine. After seeing that episode – double dipping is the least of my concerns. BUSTED!

      February 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
      • Eric

        Thank the lord some people with sense are posting here. If double dipping is a persons biggest concern they need help mentally.

        February 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
      • Rob

        This so-called CNN "doctor" should probably stick with more likely ways that people transmit disease...

        February 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
      • meemee

        Especially if the dips are at the sort of parties I am always at. Everyone ends up making out with everyone anyway.

        February 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  49. Arturo Féliz-Camilo

    Oh nooo!! LOL!! really?! The science behind double dipping!!

    February 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
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