Featured Image for Food safety expert confirms double-dipping is not okay, even worse than five-second rule
Science

Food safety expert confirms double-dipping is not okay, even worse than five-second rule

A food scientist has revealed that according to his research, double-dipping might be a health hazard after all.

Those who remember the epic Seinfeld confrontation-turned-meme between Betsy’s brother Timmy and George Costanza engage about double-dipping will be shocked to learn Timmy might have been right after all.

Paul Dawson, Clemson University professor and author of Did You Just Eat That?, has found some evidence to suggest double-dipping is a very nasty deed.

“We used a cracker and dipped that in chocolate dip, cheese dip and salsa,” Dawson told ABC Radio Perth host Alex Hyman.

“I expected there to be not really much bacteria transfer because of the small surface area on a cracker or chip when you bite it.

“But we actually found there was 1,000 more bacteria per millilitre in the dip from when you bit the chip than when you didn’t.

“That’s a significant amount … that’s more like a person-to-person transfer like the common cold and other contagious diseases rather than the typical food-borne illness like E.coli and salmonella.”

Jesus, George!

During the interview, Dawson also called into question the sacred ‘five-second rule’, which suggests there’s a short window where it’s safe to pick up food after it has been dropped and exposed to contamination.

Dawson introduced harmful bacteria onto different surfaces like carpet, wooden floorboards and tiles. He then dropped food on those, picked it up after five seconds and measured the number of bacteria.

“It’s kind of like you’re playing Russian roulette,” he said.

“It depends on the surface, if there is pathogenic bacteria on that surface, then no, it is not safe to eat. But honestly, most surfaces are not going to have any kind of dangerous bacteria there.”

If you’re curious to learn some tips on how to properly handle food to avoid contamination, check out our entry “How long does food last in the fridge?” from our How to Adult series.

About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

Leave a comment