Clemson professor researches 7 dirtiest 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, says they found the seven things that tend to spread the most bacteria:

1.) Double-dipping

2.) The five-second rule

3.) Blowing out candles on a cake

4.) Beer pong

5.) Eating popcorn

6.) Restaurant menus

7.) 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.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

Never miss another Facebook post from 8News

Find 8News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to