5 Second Rule: Fact or Fiction?
Many people justify eating a piece of dropped food as long as it was down for fewer than 5 seconds. But is there any truth to this belief?
Yes, it turns out!
A study out of Aston University found that food eaten after being on the floor for only a few seconds had less bacteria contamination than food that was left for longer periods of time.
The study looked specifically at the transfer of common bacteria strains like Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus from carpet, laminate, and tiled surfaces. They placed biscuit, pasta, sticky sweet bun, and toast on these surfaces from 3 to 30 seconds.
The results showed that time was a significant factor in bacteria transfer. The type of flooring also played a role with carpet being the safest and hard surfaces like laminate/tile being more risky after 5 seconds.
The professor leading the study said, “Consuming food dropped on the floor still carries an infection risk, as it very much depends on which bacteria are present on the floor at the time; however the findings of this study will bring some light relief to those who have been employing the five-second rule for years, despite a general consensus that it is purely a myth.”
So eat up, Vitality Nation – so long as it’s been 5-seconds or less.