It’s one of those things you hear since you were born from your friends, parents and enemies – if your tasty treat drops on the floor, pick it up within five seconds otherwise you can’t eat it.
Colloquially this is known as the ‘5 second rule’. This seems to make sense and everyone assumes this to be true. After all, if you’re able to pick food that is dropped on the floor for 1 second, surely its better than 5 seconds?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble but Professor Donald Schaffner from Rutgers University in New Jersey has said what we all don’t want to hear: its bullsh*t!
Prof Schaffner’s 2 year study (that’s long) concludes that regardless of the speed in which you pick up the food, it will still be picked up with a whole host of nasty bacteria. For the entire science behind it see his report here.
Indeed, Prof Schaffner’s study isn’t the very first to look at this very important topic. A report in England in 2014 by Aston University noted that “Time is a significant factor in the transfer of bacteria from a floor surface to a piece of food” leading Internet users to report on what they believe in and jumping for joy shouting “THE 5 SECOND RULE IS REAL!”
Well, no. Prof Schaffner just put them all in their places.
What is the bottom line here: That all food dropped will necessarily be contaminated with dirty things called bacteria. Unless you’re starving, don’t pick up dropped food and eat it. Simple, really.
(Also, stop propagating this myth!)