June 24, 2024

Take it or leave it: How true is the 5-second rule?

The more important factor than time was humidity. Dry foods such as bread or wine gum were less colonized with bacteria than wet foods such as watermelon. If food falls on carpet, it is less contaminated than if it falls on tiles or stainless steel surfaces. The reason: The bacterial solution that the researchers had previously applied to the surfaces was absorbed by the carpet material.

Since this study was published, there have been several other studies that have been able to show how quickly bacteria spread in the kitchen: whether through Finger Or by The same cutting board Use for meat and vegetables – regardless of whether they have been cleaned in between.

The five-second rule has now been scientifically disproven. Does this mean that you generally shouldn’t eat foods that touch the ground? This depends entirely on the surface and type of bacteria. “If you’re in the hospital and you drop food, it’s best not to eat it,” Dawson says.

In most cases, a little dust and soil bacteria transferred to dropped food may not cause significant harm to someone with a healthy immune system. “In 99 percent of cases, food is safe to eat after you pick it up,” Dawson says. The most important lesson that can be learned from the research is to clean floors and surfaces well and keep them clean.

Belief in the five-second rule will likely remain. “People just want it to be true,” Schaffner says. “Because everyone does it – we all eat off the ground.”

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So the five-second rule — or the three-second rule, if you’re being a little stricter — probably has more of a psychological than a microbial background: as a principle that makes obnoxious behavior socially acceptable. By shouting “The 5-Second Rule!” Before picking up the fallen cookie from the floor and eating it, you are legitimizing your actions and generating laughter in your class.

So, next time you have to decide whether to eat food off the floor, instead of asking yourself whether the five-second rule applies, ask yourself another question: Is someone watching?