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Food: Five-Second Rule for Things Dropped on Floor Is Too Much Time

Image: Food: Five-Second Rule for Things Dropped on Floor Is Too Much Time

Do you employ the five-second rule when you drop food on the floor? You might want to rethink that. (Monkeybusinessimages/Dreamstime.com)

Friday, 09 Sep 2016 04:34 PM

If you've been employing the five-second rule for food fallen on the floor — meaning it's fine to eat if you pick it up within five seconds — it's time to reconsider the practice.

A new study from researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey shows bacteria can instantly contaminate food that falls on the floor, The Associated Press reported.

The findings were published this month in the American Society for Microbiology's journal.

Researcher Donald Schaffner said the five-second rule is a "significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food."

Schaffner's research isn't the first to conclude that the favorite excuse for why that yummy snack that fell on the ground is still OK to eat is wrong.

The research did find that longer contact time means more bacterial transfer, but that the type of food and surface is just as, or more, important.

The Rutgers researchers tested watermelon, bread, bread and butter, and gummy candy on stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet.

They found that watermelon had the most contamination, and that transfer of bacteria is affected most by moisture.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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If you've been employing the five-second rule for food fallen on the floor - meaning it's fine to eat if you pick it up within five seconds - it's time to reconsider the practice.
food, five, second, rule, dropped, floor
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2016-34-09
Friday, 09 Sep 2016 04:34 PM
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