The five second rule is a contentious playground adage but, it turns out, it is actually true.
But, before you go around eating every meal direct from the floor, there are a few conditions you should be aware of.
Type of floor and type of food play a major part in how sanitary it is to take something from the ground and ingest it, as explained by NASA engineer Mike Meacham on the Discovery Science Channel’s ‘The Quick and the Curious’ show..
Check it out:
If the camera hadn’t been there, I reckon more than one guy would have eaten the cookie.
As the video explains:
Moist foods left longer than 30 seconds collect 10 times the bacteria than those snapped up after only three.Advertisement
E-coli, salmonella and listeria love wet environments. They absorb water for the nutrients they need to grow and multiply.
So if you are dropping something dry-ish on a surface that is also dry, preferably a carpet as there is less contact than with a lino surface for germs to transmit across, five seconds is ample time to recollect your meal.
The ’30 second moisture-and-surface rule’ most definitely doesn’t have the same ring to it though.