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Could the 'five-second rule' be real ?

Posted on Friday, 14 March, 2014 | Comment icon 22 comments

Would you eat food off the floor ? Image Credit:

Scientists have claimed that food is safer to eat if it is picked up off the floor within a few seconds.

The 'five-second rule' pertains to the idea that if food is dropped on the floor, it is still safe to eat if it is picked up within five seconds because there hasn't been enough time for bacteria to transfer on to it.

But is this true ? To test the theory once and for all, researchers at Birmingham’s Aston University conducted a series of experiments in which they dropped foodstuffs on to different types of floors to see if time was indeed a factor in how much bacteria ended up on the food after it had been picked up.

The team found that while picking the food up quicker was indeed advantageous, there was still a significant infection risk with anything picked up off the ground. They also discovered that carpets were the cleanest surface to drop food on to while laminate and tiled surfaces were the dirtiest.

"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," said study leader Professor Anthony. "We have found evidence that transfer from indoor flooring surfaces is incredibly poor with carpet actually posing the lowest risk of bacterial transfer onto dropped food."

Source: Independent | Comments (22)

Tags: Food

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by lightly on 15 March, 2014, 12:38
the average floor is probably cleaner , germ wise, than the average hand?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Hawkin on 15 March, 2014, 14:19
Then there's cellphones. I see people always using them, texting and surfing the web. I wonder how often they get cleaned?
Comment icon #15 Posted by JGirl on 15 March, 2014, 16:01
i wipe mine quite a lot
Comment icon #16 Posted by Hawkin on 15 March, 2014, 17:46
I've never cleaned mine cause I rarely use it. It's always in the glove box of my truck. I prefer personal conversation myself.
Comment icon #17 Posted by lightly on 15 March, 2014, 19:32
oya.. and money! but we're diverging from food on the floor. I know i DON'T want to see a microscopic view of my harmonica ! lol
Comment icon #18 Posted by Hawkin on 15 March, 2014, 22:06
I guess the point I'm making is germs can be contracted many ways besides food on the floor. I see some people at work use the restroom and not wash their hands after groping themselves. Who knows what they touch after that.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Junior Chubb on 16 March, 2014, 14:42
Just pick it up and eat it, you guys must not know what its like to be hungry.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Capt Amerika on 19 March, 2014, 13:49
How much do you suppose scientists get paid to tell you whether you can or cant eat food off the floor? I had really hoped by now that our tax dollars would be spent on trying to colonize another planet, not food etiquette and floor germs.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Purplos on 19 March, 2014, 16:27
People are so dirt-phobic these days it drives me nuts sometimes. Where are the scores of people dying from horrible floor-food viruses and bacteria? I'm not scraping butter or something like that off the floor and eating it, but an apple slice can be washed off easily and used. Keep your floors clean and you're fine. People waste so much food with these silly ideas.
Comment icon #22 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 21 March, 2014, 13:08
I'm sure Mike Rowe from the show 'Dirty Jobs' can shed some light on this rule.

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