If you drop food, you can just pick it up right away and it’s fine, right? The so-called “five-second rule” is seen by many as a universal truth, but no one has ever done a proper peer-reviewed study on it until now. It turns out that, no, it’s probably not fine to pick it up and eat it. That said, some food-dropping scenarios are safer than others.The study was conducted by Professor Donald Schaffner, a food microbiologist from Rutgers University. The testing was performed on both dry and sticky foods including cut watermelon, bread, buttered bread, and strawberry gummy candy. The team also used several different flooring materials like ceramic tile, wood, and carpet. Samples were exposed to all the different floorings types for varying amounts of time with 20 repetitions of each test. There were a total of 2,560 measurements of bacterial transfer, making this easily the largest assessment of the 5-second rule ever.The results showed that the 5-second rule isn’t completely bunk — there’s some common sense behind it. If a dry bit of food like bread lands on the carpet and you scoop it up in less than five seconds, the level of bacterial contamination is low but still present. Those are all the lowest risk categories, according to the study. But if you were to drop a watermelon on your ceramic tile kitchen floor for any amount of time, it’s going to pick up plenty of nasty stuff.The most important finding of this study is that everything is contaminated on contact with the floor. It’s just about how contaminated it is. Even bread on the carpet will eventually collect a worrying amount of bacteria. That’s not to say it can’t become dangerous on contact. Bacteria are not hiding on your floor with little microscopic stopwatches set to five seconds. If you do adhere to the 5-second rule, just be thankful for your robust immune system.
"Study finds the five second rule wont keep you safe from dangerous"