A year or so ago, we heard that the five-second rule was bunk. According to science vlogger Michael Stevens, when you drop food on the floor, it becomes instantly contaminated. This is unfortunate news for those of us with kids who drop food on the floor and swipe that stuff back into their little maws faster than we can stop them. And, okay, maybe some of us have been ignoring Stevens' advice and calling the five-second rule for ourselves, too. Well wishful thinkers, we are in luck! Scientists have gone and proven that the five-second rule works after all.
New research shows that the longer your food stays on the floor, the more bacteria it collects. The floor surface matters, too. Tile and laminate are likely to transfer more bacteria to your food, while carpet transfers less. So I guess if you've been looking for an excuse to put a rug under your table, this is it. Not only does that mean you vacuum instead of sweep, your dropped food will be safer to eat.
This is the clear choice for people who base their home decor on the likelihood of dropping food on the floor. And to those people I say: I salute you! This is the only practical approach to home decor.
HOWEVER. We may have to curtail our celebration just a wee bit, because this study doesn't exactly prove that your food won't get contaminated at all, if you can rescue it in under five seconds. It's just going to be less poisonous.
"Consuming food dropped on the floor still carries an infection risk as it very much depends on which bacteria are present on the floor at the time," says lead researcher Anthony Hilton. "However, the findings of this study will bring some light relief to those who have been employing the five-second rule for years, despite a general consensus that it is purely a myth."
Congratulations, cast-iron-bellied people who eat food off the floor. You are now back in the right.
Do you trust the five-second rule, or will you throw away anything that hits the floor?
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