Let’s set the scene – it’s the office Christmas buffet and everyone has contributed. Jo’s managed not to make the sandwiches too soggy for once. Jan’s baked her famous scones. Dave’s won extra points for bringing mini sausage rolls AND picnic-sized scotch eggs. There are FOUR different kinds of posh crisps. And for once, there’s actually a decent selection of dips, not just coleslaw, which is destined to remain untouched.
You’re standing in line with your plate, eyeing up the biggest of the mini sausage rolls, keeping an eye on Dave in front to check he’s not getting it for himself, when you see him dunk his posh crisp into the onion and chive dip and take a bite. “Could have waited until he got back to his table”, you mutter under your breath. Then he dunks in his half-eaten crisp for a second go at the dip. What is this?! Dave’s a double dipper!
How do you react? Are you totally nonplussed and just thinking about getting that sausage roll on your plate? Or are you outraged that the one year you have more than coleslaw, the actual nice dip is now full of Dave’s saliva?
You’ve every right to be fuming.
HuffPost UK recently asked the experts about how unhygienic double dipping really is and found that the only time it can ever be okay is if you’re going back for a second dunk in a sauce that only you are eating.
But if it’s at the buffet table, double dipping is definitely a double don’t.
A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency stated: “We do not recommend this. Bacteria in your mouth could cross-contaminate the food and spread a variety of illnesses, such as colds and flu. You should take a portion of dip onto your plate to eat it instead.”
All you wanted was onion and chive dip, not Dave’s recurring mouth abscess.
Dr Clare Morrison, an online doctor at MedExpress, said she believed it depended on the food, as some dips might lend themselves better to a more hygienic double dunk than others.
She cited a 2009 study that found salsa to be the worst offender for double dipping chips. Compared to the other two sauces in the study, salsa was found to contain five times more bacteria after a second dunk.
This is probably due to it being more watery, meaning bits of salsa and dripping saliva can end up mixed together when the chip goes in for that second dip.
Enough to put you off buffets for life, isn’t it? Next year, you’ll be putting your name down to bring in teaspoons so everyone can help themselves to the dip in a safe and hygienic manner.
And remember to never take your eyes off Dave, not even for a second. Not only did he double dip, he got that sausage roll as well, didn’t he?! He might have brought picnic eggs, but that’s no redemption.