Skip to comments.Is the mythical "five-second rule" actually real?
Posted on 03/15/2014 6:16:17 AM PDT by JoeProBono
New research finds that there is some truth to the so-called "five-second rule" -- the belief that food is safe to eat if picked up from the floor in under five seconds.
Researchers at Aston University in Birmingham, U.K. studied the rate of bacteria transfer in food items dropped on the floor and picked up within three to 30 seconds. They found that the amount of time an item spent on the floor was directly related to bacteria levels.
"Time is a significant factor in the transfer of bacteria from a floor surface to a piece of food," read the study findings.
The team practiced dropping different types of food -- toast, a cookie, sticky candy and pasta -- and studied the results. Not surprisingly, the moist, sticky foods were more likely to pick up bacteria when compared to the dry foods.
The researchers determined that levels of bacteria transfer in food dropped on tile and laminate floor for five or more seconds, while still low, were higher than carpeting.
"We have found evidence that transfer from indoor flooring surfaces is incredibly poor," said microbiology professor Anthony Hilton, who led the study, in a prepared statement, "with carpet actually posing the lowest risk of bacterial transfer onto dropped food."
The research has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and findings should be considered preliminary....
read this when it first came out.... why are we wasting money on this kind of stuff?
Wonder if carpeting in the kitchen will be trendy?
HGTV house hunters will now embrace carpeting? ;)
In my house, I maintain a thin layer of dog hair so fallen food items never make actual contact with the floor.
Yes, Joe—the dog hairs work very nicely to protect the food from being contaminated by the dirt and whatever else is on the floor.
We have 2 house dogs who’s main purpose is to keep the floors covered in dog hair, thereby protecting the safety of our food supply ..
We live in a world of bacteria and virus. Why are we all not dead yet?
Having been exposed to to all these little buggies all our lives we gain a certain amount of immunity from them.
Are there any more germs on the floor then the counter top? Maybe a few but not many. While I would not want to eat off a floor, I would be more worried about the food picking up bits of dirt or dust (because of the taste then I worry about picking up a germ).
If people have not noticed, babies live on the floors of our homes and will put any and all things in their mouths. Most survive this time of their life (and may in fact get their immunity from these little explorations).
Hhmmmm....Our dogs main goal is to clean the kitchen floor daily...at least
A study on this won the Ig Nobel Prize for Public Health in 2004. Details here: http://www.improbable.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html#ig2004
5 second rule? DISGUSTING!! We use the much more sanitary 3 second rule.
Playing to our 'Common Core' audience ?
Years and years ago I used to go out with a gal from North Carolina who worked at a local fast food joint. I asked her if any of those burgers ever hit the floor then were placed on the grill. She looked at and said “all the time!”
Mythbusters is totally entertainment.
A high school science project usually has better scientific procedures. Mythbusters does a lousy job of investigating alternate explanations. Usually all they "Prove" when they "Bust" a myth is that they were unable to accomplish the task.
Mythbustere DOES have more/bigger explosions and or flames.
Flintstones dish washing.
“We have 2 house dogs whos main purpose is to keep the floors covered in dog hair, thereby protecting the safety of our food supply ..”
I heard about this several years ago. Went out and bought a golden retriever who apparently are the best at this.
How wasteful… I'm a fan of the 5-minute rule.
Retrievers are good at this sort of thing ...
Bwahahaha!!!! Us too. :-)
In connection with the "kiss it up to God" corollary, yes.
The problem is that food might not survive five seconds on the floor with the source of the dog hair around. One... Two... Crunch!
I think it’s the British this time.
“Slurp! Slurp! Lick! Slurp! Smack!! Yum! Yum! - Burp!! It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it! Slurp!”
if you have two dogs in the house, its unlikely dropped food will hit the floor and if it does it will be immediately scarfed up n microseconds by the pets-unless its bananas.
It’s three seconds.
small bit of gratitude
i agree that childern who aren’t “hovered over” and eat some dirt and stuff gain some immunities and are less likely to develop allergies.
also the 5 second rule is proportional to the cost of the food dropped. truffles and saaffron can stay on the ground much longer. saffron, for example, is $2400+ a pound so it can safely stay on the floor for hours.
Good illustration to my post LOL
When we had our dogs, five seconds would have been an eternity, they’d have already inhaled whatever it may have been.
That’s what my mother always used to tell me my kitchen would look like. Sorry to have disappointed her, but my kitchen’s always been spic ‘n span.
I saw an apartment just like that in Montpelier, Vermont years ago...
Ha-ha. I was just counting to 10 to see who was going to post a S&S ad! My mother lived to clean, as did her sisters. I remember my aunt Evvy not letting us kids sit on beds she had already made, beds you could bounce a dime off of.