Thursday, February 19, 2009


One researcher says that "double-dipping" is like kissing everybody at the party. It's like putting your whole mouth in the dip. They found that on average, three to six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from the eater's mouth to the remaining dip.

I am not a Germophobic but there are certain things that really bother me when it comes to germs and cleanliness.

I used to work with a woman that "double-dipped" every time we went to a Mexican restaurant and they brought out the salsa and chips. That is not all she did. She would eat off someones plate if given the chance. It used to make me almost physically sick and everyone in the office eventually refused to eat anything she brought if we had a potluck meal.

I love to cook and many times I sample what I am cooking but I always get a new utensil to stir the recipe other than the one I tasted it with. My thinking is that I might have some bacteria in my mouth that would be transferred to my guests or family. I don't lick my fingers while cooking either and it bothers me when other people do it. I had to quit watching Paula Deen on television because she is always licking her fingers and tasting stuff. Cold sores, throat infections such as strep, and mono can all be passed by using the same eating utensils.

Another thing, if you are not a big fan of germs, beware of the salad bar. I have seen people sneeze, cough, grab food with their hands, and eat off the serving utensils. I read that the plastic gloves that service workers wear can lure you into a false sense of security. They are purely for show and can get just as contaminated as bare hands if they don't change them often. Actually, they can lure the employee into thinking that as long as they wear the gloves they don't have to wash their hands. This is not true!

Remember the "five second rule" that states a food item dropped on the floor and picked up within five seconds will be safe to eat. Research concluded that there was a potentially significant amount of bacteria transferred in those five seconds.

The single most important way to prevent the transmission of infectious organisms is to wash your hands often - before eating; before and after handling food, particularly raw meat and fish; after having sex; before putting in contact lenses or treating a wound; after using the toilet; after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose; after changing a diaper; after playing with a pet or cleaning a litter box; and after gardening.

The kitchen is the room in your house that has the most potential to harbor germs. Kitchen counter tops can have over 488 bacteria per square inch. Clean counter tops before and after cooking. Use a spray bottle of water and 1 teaspoon of bleach. Spray counter, let sit for 2 minutes and wipe with a paper towel.

I might go overboard with some of this stuff but I can't help it. I rarely ever get sick and I don't take any kind of medicine. My health is a big concern to me at my age and I certainly don't want to be contracting germs from other people.

Do you have a thing about "germs" or cleanliness? What are some of your healthy habits?


Margie's Musings said...

I am seldom sick either. I wash my hands often but am not as scrupulous as you are.

bobbie said...

I am not germaphobic, but I couldn't bring myself to eat a dip if I saw people double-dipping.

This reminded me of an incident back when I was a little girl, and I wanted a lick of another girl's ice cream cone. (We did it within the family) Her father gave me a lecture. TN said...

I'm like you Judy. I try to be really clean in my kitchen. Usually, I tie a scarf around my head in case of a stray hair. (Especially, if I'm making the food to take somewhere) It really makes me sick to find a hair in my food. Another thing that bothers me is for somone to blow their nose around where I am cooking or eating. I can't stand it! I know a woman, in fact, she is one of my best friends. She would ask people to take their shoes off before they came into her house....but she would let her dogs lick out of the plate she was eating from....UCK!!!! I'd rather have my floors dirty! And Lisa went to one of her friends house the other night for supper. Her friend has a cute little dog, but it won't eat anything but human food. And it won't eat human food unless they feed it with a fork. So they feed the dog while they are eating....with the same fork!!!! UCK!!!! UCK!!!!
P.S. Our guy on American Idol made it to the final 12, didn't he? YEAH!!!!I'm glad Tatianna is gone!

Silver said...

i like what you're saying here, lady.
and i thought i was the only "difficult" person around.

After the Asian SARS episode, i think more people are having a more concerted effort to having a utensil on each individual dish instead of the Asian style of digging in with the same ones that just came out with saliva and all..

Femin Susan said...

I liked the way of your choose very good themes to write about.

Jeannie said...

I'm on the borderline of being a clean freak. While I've relaxed being so concerned with the livingroom and bedrooms, I must have a clean kitchen (and bathroom!)

My husband and I tend to swap our germs (i.e. double-dip, use each others cups and utensils), but I'd never dream of doing so with anyone else. No spoons ever go from taste-test back to the pot, no finger-licking or anything else of the sort happens in my kitchen. Yuck!

P.S. I've read somewhere that a good rule of thumb for washing your hands the appropriate amount of time is to sing "The Happy Birthday Song". I hum it while washing my hands after my workout at the gym. People there must think I'm strange. :)


Very interesting topic Judy, never thought about dipping being a health hazzard. my cleanliness is a just pure hygiene.......washing hands after going to the toilet, though if out some don't supply soap so I always carry a disenfectant hand foam.
Thanks for the visit.
Take care.


Amber Star said...

Amen to your post! What drives me crazy on the cooking shows is their little bowls of salt and pepper. They handle chicken and then season it by putting their chickeny hands into both salt and pepper contaminating both. After they do that they pick up a cloth towel and wipe their hands. I nearly faint when I see that. It is as bad as the dog thing. Yuck.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Judy, Thanks for the great reminder. I'm not nearly as careful these days as I was when the kids were here--and were young. SO--I guess I need to read stuff like this ever so often. THANKS again!!!!

To stay healthy, we try to eat healthy, walk or do some kind of exercise --and we take lots of vitamins. I am seldom sick either --although I had a horrible cold in October this past year.

The WORST place to pick up germs I think is on the grocery carts/buggies. Some stores offer spray for the handles.. That's probably where I picked up a bug in October.

I agree that the best thing one can do is to wash their hands OFTEN.

One Woman's Journey said...

Oh Judy, I must have wrote that post. Are you sure we are not twins. Fondly "E" from Tennessee.

Beth said...

I'm right there with you on this, Judy. I might have a few dust balls floating around my house, but when I cook, I wash my hands frequently and always use fresh spoons to taste. Double-dipping is just plain nasty--makes me queasy just thinking about it. Once, when my children were small, we had someone visit us and bring a raw chicken. She unwrapped it, handled it, then walked into the living room to play with my children without washing her hands! I usually try to be polite and not embarrass a guest, but I ran after her and actually grabbed her just as she was about to pick up my daughter. Raw chicken! I couldn't believe it. Yuck.

Thanks for another great post, Judy!

Jamie Dawn said...

I'm a bit of a germ-a-phobe, so this post is right up my alley. I keep anti-bacterial wipes in my purse and use them before eating at restaurants. I sometimes wipe down the table with them, and my kids sink down in their seats in embarrassment.
I use them after I come out of Walmart or the grocery store. So many germs on those cart handles!
I wouldn't be offended if my family double dipped, but someone else doing it, would bother me.
Paula Deen is quite the food queen! She's a taster for sure, and I think she's so fun. I don't watch her hardly ever, but I have used several of her recipes.
When I fly, I wipe down the pull down table and even my seat belt clasp.
I can't stand a dirty kitchen!

Grannyann said...

I have gotten worse the older I get about trying to not get germs. I have wet wipes in the car, my daughters car and was thrilled when my favorite grocery store put up the wipes at the door for customer use. I know the carts have germs all over them. 8 years ago I had a triple bi-pass and don't want to get pneumonia or other chest problem. I know my kids think I have lost it but I feel the same way you do. Glad I am not the only one.

Grannyann said...

About the double dipping, we always ask for individual cheese and salsa for each person when we eat Mexican.

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Judy, that is a major reason why I do not go out to eat very often. I get totally freaked out about thinking of all those germs and other nastinesses in a restaurant. When we do go out I don't use the salt/pepper, ketchup, bbq sauce, etc., and I try to encourage my family to refrain also. When they do use them I insist they pick them up with a napkin instead of with their bare hands. And I never touch those menu things and cards that are sometimes left on the tables to advertise desserts and such. People actually let their babies gum on those things!!! Horrendous! I'm a bit of a germaphobe. I don't like using public toilets or staying in hotels, either. Not so much that I stay locked in my house, but I am constantly wiping things or putting something between me and public surfaces...
I enjoyed your post. Thought I was the only one... :)

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Oh, and I don't share utensils or glasses with my son or husband, either. That's just nasty. And it IS NOT like kissing. It's disgusting.

Nancy said...

I'm not a big germaphobe, but I don't double dip, and I do wash hands and keep the kitchen clean. I, like another commenter, can't stand to see animals licking plates (or me, for that matter), and a hair in my food grosses me out.

Fortunately, I don't get sick very often, knock on wood.

Anonymous said...

I won't eat from buffet tables when we go out to partys

Margaret Cloud said...

I am with you Judy, if anyone cooks with me I politely ask them to wash their hands, I don't drink or eat after anyone. I sure do like the pictures on your post, very cute. Thanks for coming by.

Missy said...

That's really gross! The salsa looks great though!

June Saville said...

There has just been a commission of inquiry into our hospital system that, to be fair, is one of the best in the world. However, the commissioner's loudest comment was perhaps to chastise the staff, and particularly the doctors, who don't wash their hands enough - often going from patient to patient without cleaning themselves, would you believe!
June in Oz

Balisha said...

I'm a bit of a germaphobe.I didn't like to drink out of the chalice at Church... during communion. Now they have stopped offering that during flu season.Our former Priest used to bypass the hand shaking during flu season too.

Sweetie said...

You would fit in very well with our daughters and me. When someone serves dip, we put our dip in individual bowls. When washing our hands with hot soap and water we sing "Happy Birthday" (silently). We saw on TV that is the length of time you should wash hands. We carry hand sanitizer with us. I soak dishclothes in clorox and hot water. Also, I always use a dishwasher because the water temperature is high - and I wear food service gloves when preparing food.

Femin Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilly's Life said...

Yes Judy it does worry me. My ex partner had restaurants and I used to do the food safety training. I am fastidious about it but find it hard to eat out because I am always looking for the signs. Every person needs to know how to store their food too. This was a great post. And I am loving that big white cat on the right - funny.

Leigh said...

Hey Mom,

I was going to read this entry when I sat down with my lunch yesterday but douple dipping makes me sick to my stomach so I had to wait and read it this morning. Great entry!

Love you!


Grammy said...

Dear Judy,
Great Posting! It reminded me of some things I had read or heard and had forgotten about. I like to clean my counters with Clorox spray. Also, the stove and refrigerator. We do eat at buffet sometimes, but have never worried about eating food at church suppers, and probably never will worry about it. Thanks for all the health reminders.

Anonymous said...

This is why I will not eat salsa at restaurants. I believe in cleanliness. Great post!

Anne and Leigh said...

Great post Mom!! I love your blog, it is always so interesting! You are so right about germs!

Love you,


Judy said...

That's totally correct! Even when my kids were growing up (not flown the coop...) I had separate dips for them. We did'nt have dips too awful much, though.

And even at grocery stores....those samples are sometimes a dip for all. I hardly ever sample any stuff.

The other day I did take a 2 oz. cup of the new diet Cherry 7-UP. The lady put my used cup in the trash....I waited and watched to see if she did, or not, LOL!

Very excellant post, my friend!

JunieRose2005 said...


THIS could have been written by me! I am exactly that way in my own kitchen when preparing food! And I ALWAYS wash my hands before touching any food in my kitchen!

I'm that way even if it's just my husband and me here! It's just a good practice! I hate it when having a meal at home with relatives and someone uses their own fork to take something off a platter of food! I have to bite my tongue to keep from protesting! Even out to eat at restaurants, with relatives, sometimes one might offer a portion of meat to my husband with his/her own fork to transfer it to his plate! And he (my husband) will never refuse- but I sure do!

I also do not even like to have people dig into a bag of chips with their bare (dirty) hands! What's wrong with putting them in a bowl? Also - the double dipping is yucky- and I do my best to patrol that- lol!

LOL ...And - like you-I taste my food when cooking (you have to to get it right!) but I never put the same spoon back in the food!

I've always been really turned off with cooking shows- etc- that show the chef/cook 'tasting ' the food!

It's just common sense to me!

(lol- Are you and I related?)


The Muse said...

Im always trying to stay ahead of the dirt...and germs...although I would not say I am a germaphobe ... Clorox and Lysol are two of my best friends :)