How party dips can give you herpes

It’s usually not a party until the chips and dips rock up.

But, a new investigation has revealed that these tasty party treats can be hiding some very dangerous bacteria.

Norovirus, streptococcus – which gives you a sore throat – and herpes simplex – the cold sore virus, could all be lurking in your favourite dips.


The investigation revealed that if as little as one partygoer commits the ultimate party foul of ‘double dipping’, for the bacteria multiplying.

Microbiologists revealed on Monday’s episode of Food Unwrapped on Channel 4 that thousands of organisms live in the tiniest amount of saliva.

This means if someone double dips, the bacteria can transfer and multiply.

The experts also revealed the one crowd favourite that transfers the most bacteria.

Testing popular dips like taramasalata, houmous, and sour cream, it was revealed that the ‘runnier’ the dip, the easier is is for bacteria to multiply.

Matt Tebbutt, co-presenter of Food Unwrapped, double-dipped chips into all three dips and in just two hours, there was more than 100 times more bacteria in the pot of sour cream than an uncontaminated sample.

Bacteria also grew quickly in taramasalata, where there was 50 times more bacteria.

Tebbutt said, ‘If you are dip sharing, it’s the runniest dips you have to be aware of as they are more likely to drip back into the tub after they have been in your mouth, hence more bacteria.’

Food safety expert Jonathan France also revealed that if someone has a virus such as norovirus, streptococcus, or herpes simplex, you may catch their infection even if only a small amount of their saliva has contaminated a party dip.

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