Science Says You Spread A Disgusting Amount Of Germs When You Double-Dip

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Double-dipping: the act of going for that second scoop of salsa after you've already dipped your chip.

We've all done it. Don't deny it.

I'm not so grossed out by the concept of double-dipping (I'm more grossed out by touching subway poles, honestly), but according to research, it's not just a social faux pas inspired by that classic "Seinfeld" episode. It can actually make you sick.

You would think it's pretty harmless, right? Actually, it's not.

Research published in Harvard University's Healthbeat journal confirmed what we all thought to be true about double-dipping.

They tested a variety dips for bacteria after people had double-dipped in them. Since there are about 700 pathogenic (disease-causing) bacterial species found in your mouth at any given time, it's easy to see how easily all that bacteria could be transferred via double-dipping in the party salsa.

Speaking of salsa, it happens to be the dip in which bacteria is most easily spread. That's because its consistency is more watery, unlike thicker dips like hummus. So, that's fun.

It's hard to prove someone can get sick from double-dipping, but the risk totally exists. The journal's editor, Dr. Robert Shmerling said,

This research does raise the possibility that a person who is sick might spread a disease by re-dipping a chip.

Researchers did make one suggestion to people who double-dip and don't feel like changing their ways to avoid spreading their germs to innocent single-dippers: Double-dippers should take their second dip on another side of their chip. Just flip that bad boy around to avoid spreading germs.

Sounds easy enough.

Whether you're a double-dipper or not, now you know the real consequences your seemingly harmless party food habits can cause.

And if you're a germaphobe with trust issues, you might want to consider throwing a party that's BYOS (bring your own salsa).

Citations: “Double dipping” your chip: Dangerous or just…icky? (Harvard Health Publications), Science says that it's officially not OK to double dip anything anymore (Metro UK)