Picture this. You’re at a family barbeque, maybe even having a good time. You look over to the table of chips and dip – only to witness the most outrageous of food sharing acts… double dipping (cue dramatic music)!
Okay, perhaps we’re being a little dramatic, but a new Canstar Blue survey has found that almost one in three Australian adults (30%) is guilty of the most heinous dipping sin. And that’s only counting the ones who owned up to it…
Men are more likely to double dip than women (30% vs 32% respectively), the survey found, while some age groups are considerably more disgusting than others, as the graph below shows. Respondents aged 18-29 were found to be the worst double dip culprits, with 40% admitting to the dirty habit. However, those aged in their 30s are not far behind (38%).
If we break down the results around the states, South Australian parties are the safest with only 18% double dipping. In stark contrast, Tasmania is home to the highest proportion of offenders, at 35%.
What’s the big deal about double dipping?
Given our findings, chances are you’ll encounter a double dipper at a party near you – so should you be concerned? Well, kind of.
An article recently published by Dr Robert Shmerling in the Harvard Medical School Journal discusses research which measured bacterial counts across various food dips, after someone had double dipped. It found bacteria counts of dip considerably increased after someone had double dipped, with bacteria counts varying across different kinds of foods. Salsa, for example, became much more contaminated than other dips, such as chocolate and cheese.
With that said, bacteria are all around you, including in the air you’re breathing right now. They’re not necessarily harmful, and the likelihood of becoming sick from a double dipped dip is supposedly minimal. If the double dipper is ill (say with the flu), then it may be a different story, however cases of disease spreading through double dipping are uncommon, according to Dr Shmerling.
So while double dipping is a little gross and off-putting for some, apparently it doesn’t pose any real health risks.