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Harvard Health Blog
“Double dipping” your chip: Dangerous or just…icky?
- By Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
I’ve never seen this double-dipping. The usual practice is to scoop some of the dip on to our own snack plates, and use that for whatever chips we take.
i think Bacteria come 1st Food Poisoning, and Bacteria are everywhere: in water, air, and the bodies of every human and animal.
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My website goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from
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The comment is made that there is more risk of having someone cough or sneeze in your face than in double-dipping. But someone need not cough or sneeze to create a risk. If you have ever watched a person speak into a sunbeam that is streaming through a window, you may be amazed at the spray of finely divided saliva that one discharges from the mouth when speaking.
Can I safely break a large chip into three parts and serial dip?
Just another lame article using up time and space. You have to realise universities must struggle to put out something to engage the “layperson” and keep their name in your mind in case you contract a severe (expensive) illness. Sometimes they really do produce something that is an answer to a nagging problem that will benefit us all, but this was a total miss. Talk about watering down data (or actually, what data?). Harvard? Come on. Don’t you think your readers deserve a bit more respect?
I concur with Yasmin’s comment. There are forms of information, they don’t all have to be in rigorous science format. There is no need for ego competition. Reference to popular culture, such as, Seinfeld is a good vehicle for putting a message out to a wider audience than the already converted. I have witnessed double-dipping being practised locally and internationally and aside from health concerns, I find it discourteous and it demonstrates a lack of consideration for others.
I have just started a course if chemo so thank you as i would dip a chip without thinking someone else has been double dipping so i can now avoid!
I enjoyed the article. Note to self, “Do not read the comment section on Harvard Health. While not objectively researched, qualitative data suggests reading the comments section may cause frustration, anxiety or true upset.” While I understand the importance of excellent research, I gather from the use of a Seinfeld episode being cited throughout, that this article may have been created more for light-hearted entertainment in contrast to sharing rigorous proof.
Likewise, skipping over some readers’ negative, grumpy, mean spirited and/or foul comments upon political news articles may also be beneficial to one’s health. 😊
Who eats chips with dip today ?
The only people that I know are on Seinfeld reruns.
This article helps you practice SAFE HYGIENE, be Thankful and follow, why always trying to counter, and stop good ideas coming your way, or if you cant stand taking good advice just keep quiet, THANKS
Absolutely a 3rd grade blog. Consider kissing, taking a sip of friends wine. If Harvard and AARP are that squeamish, then drop me from your list.
I plan to notify Harvard Med booklets and lady chief of AARP. No place in world for wussies giving ill advised advice with no facts to back it up. God help your children and spouses.
The operative thing here is the possibility of increased risk where the dipper has an illness that can be transmitted by saliva. When a transmittable pathogen is not present there is not a risk from otherwise healthy saliva that contains innocuous bacteria, in fact, there is increasing evidence that a greater diversity of gut flora is beneficial to general health.
“But even if the risk is hard to prove, the risk may be real. We know of many respiratory diseases that can be spread by contact with saliva, such as influenza (the flu) or whooping cough.” Were either of those risks hard to prove? What do you mean by “hard to prove?” What examples do you have of risks that could not be proven, but were nonetheless real?
If you think double dipping is not good what about being at church and drinking the wine from the same cup as maybe 30 other people ,I know they wipe the cup after each use but use the same napkin is used is this really healthy .
That is why I will not drink the wine at church. I cannot understand this practice, especially in the Winter when so many ‘bug’ are going around.
This is totally wack! All human beings since Adam and Eve “double-dip”! In my 62 years on the planet, attending barbecues and parties and receptions, I have never met anyone who felt the slightest shame about it. Next thing I know you’ll try to make us feel anxious about kissing–even worse, from this weird POV! I like barbecues, guacamole, salsa, my fellow humans, and kissing. Lighten up.
I don’t think I have ever seen anyone double dip. Most people spoon some dip onto their own plate and put their chips there.
Although having attended many gatherings, in my 82 years, at which chips and dips were served, I can’t say how many were shamed about blatant double dipping because I didn’t take a poll. However, since I recently started paying attention, I have not seen double dipping taking place. I imagine that the ickyness of the practice is now well known enough that most gatherings are not afflicted by unsanitary practitioners. As to kissing, unless one is a serial kisser at gatherings, where one may not know many of the attendees personally, I don’t think there would be a problem.
I am not sure suggesting the alternative of dipping the other end is better with the bacteria on the fingers that held it to dip the first time sure to contaminate the dip.
I have a few questions about the validity of this study, is there an outline of their methodology? Did the researchers check to see if dips gained bacteria from a regular chip dipping (no double dipping). I could see that maybe the chips themselves harbored some bacteria to begin with, or the action of someone touching a chip and dipping it could transfer bacteria.
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