My favorite rule of all time has got to be the five second rule. As a lover of food, one of the worst things that can happen is dropping it on the floor. The five second rule is idea that your food will not be contaminated within 5 seconds of touching the ground. For something that is such a well known phenomenon, one would think that there should be science that backs this up. This “myth” was debunked by the Mythbusters
The myth busters perform experiments in the short clip to determine how much bacteria is obtained on a piece of food in less than and more than five seconds. The myth busters had used a control “floor” by making trays have a uniform layer of bacteria because a real floor would be inconsistent. the also wanted to account for dry and wet foods, so they included crackers and lunch meat in their experiment as well as eliminating food as a constant altogether. Their finding eventually concluded that no matter if it is 2 seconds on the ground or 6 seconds on the ground, the bacteria count found is almost identical. It’s safe to say that maybe you shouldn’t eat food that has fallen on the ground. It’s much safer for your health to make another sandwich than to potentially contract salmonella from trust the “5 second rule”.
As an adult, I can’t imagine eating food that has fallen on the floor, unless it was in a wrapper.
What I find interesting is that people are not likely to eat food that has been dropped on the floor, but a lot more likely to eat it if it fell on the table. Would you eat a slice of apple that may have fallen into the kitchen sink at home? I probably would. This study published by Charles River Laboratories International Inc. takes a look at different surfaces found in the kitchen and how much bacteria they contain.
The bar chart from this study will show you how contaminated a regular kitchen sink can get. I hope this may open your eyes to the idea that the 5 second rule is one that may be best to ignore.