The 5 second rule! You know, the one we use when we furtively pick up that piece of cookie we just dropped before anyone sees us. And, if anyone does see us, we gleefully shout out, "5 second rule!"
After all, how could scooping up a fallen piece of food in 5 seconds or less actually compromise the safety of eating that delicious little morsel?
Is it just an urban legend? Is there any truth to it? Or should we avoid eating any food that has fallen to the floor or onto any surface?
It may be surprising to know a very high percentage of individuals will definitely admit to retrieving a fallen piece of food as quickly as possible and eating it. Especially true if no one is watching. And that includes men as well as women.
Believe it or not, some scientific studies have been done on this seemingly silly subject. However, the results of the studies are mixed and the jury is still out! Here are some general findings:
Ingestion of either or both can have possible serious consequences on our digestive systems,especially for someone with a compromised immune system.
There are actually many possible reasons to account for this behavior:
Several factors should be considered if one prefers to continue to follow the 5 Second Rule:
Here is the most important thing to think about when deciding whether or not to follow the 5 Second Rule...
Germs can contaminate a piece of food dropped on the floor in as little as 1 second. But is that enough to cause a food-borne illness that will make you sick?
If the general environment is kept reasonably clean, it is actually unlikely harmful bacteria will be transferred from your floor in just a few seconds. The odds are actually in your favor that you can probably eat that morsel and not get sick.
However, if there is a microorganism that can make you sick on the exact spot where the food dropped, you can be fairly certain that germ is on that food you have just scooped up and are about to put in your mouth.
The more important rule to keep in mind is to make sure you keep your hands, surfaces, and utensils clean.
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