You’re not going to like this: Clemson professor finds 7 common ‘dirty food habits’

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – A Clemson University professor and food scientist has been studying just how much bacteria people spread with “dirty food habits.”

Paul Dawson, along with a group of undergraduate and graduate students, say they found seven things that tend to spread the most bacteria: Double-dipping, the five-second rule, blowing out candles on a cake, the beer pong ball, eating popcorn, restaurant menus, and getting lemon in your drinks.


The group tested double-dipping by dipping chips in salsa, chocolate, and cheese. They say double-dipping salsa had five times the risk of bacteria because it can fall off the chip easier than chocolate or cheese.

Dawson and his students tested the five-second rule by leaving food for five, 30 and 60 seconds. Dawson says there was enough bacteria on food after five seconds that it is not a good idea to eat.

The study also found that blowing out candles created 15 times more bacteria on the frosting of a cake.

Professor Dawson has been researching bacteria and “dirty food habits” for three decades.

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