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How To Best Break Down The Five Second Rule Myth

Find out the truth about the five second rule.

How Really Reliable Is Five Second Rule Madness?

Next time that morsel plops, you may want to rethink the five second rule. You know the one…For quite some time, some of us were under the assumption that if we picked up food within five seconds of its hitting the ground it was still safe to eat. A recent Rutgers University study shows us this is not the best or safest policy regarding ‘contaminated’ food. Not convinced yet that following this practice can harm you? Read further and learn why fallen food should be regarded as dead to you. DO NOT EAT THAT!

Clean enough to eat off of?

First of all it seems silly when you think about it. The expression, clean enough to eat off of, was never meant to be taken literally. Even the cleanest of homes, in particular floors, still have the presence of bacteria and other contaminants. The study that debunked the five second rule found that ‘bacteria can contaminate instantaneously’. In fact, researchers clearly showed how the rule oversimplified this process. A food safety correspondent also answered some basic food health questions as they pertained to fallen food.

Nobody’s perfect and accidents happen…

Accidents happen. Nobody’s perfect. However, other factors besides time may share the blame for bacterial transfer to fallen food. One such factor might be the food’s nature. The study found that between the following foods, watermelon, bread, butter, and gummy candies, results varied. Dryer foods were slower and less likely to become contaminated. Bacteria are unable to move about and latch onto things without the assistance of liquids. Thus, the wetter the food the greater the chance of contamination.

Granted, people spill and drop things. Yet, we can’t always choose the fall’s location. Therefore, it’s important to examine individual surface types as well. The five second rule study found carpet contained the lowest levels of bacterial transfer. Additionally, researchers determined that ceramic tiles and steel were the most likely to experience this problem. In contrast, wood floors tended to vary when it came to fallen food becoming contaminated.

The five second rule is no longer allowed!

Unfortunately, the five second rule, that we’ve been applying for far too long, has served its purpose. The research simply does not sustain its application. The numbers are huge! Per the CDC, 12% of the average annual 9 million cases of all food borne illness cases are caused by bacterial transfer from contaminated surfaces. Hopefully, the study’s results will help reduce this number of incidents. It should. The CDC should not have to focus their attention on people getting sick from fallen food.

Granted, people spill and drop things. Yet, we can’t always choose the fall’s location. Therefore, it’s important to examine individual surface types as well. The five second rule study found carpet contained the lowest levels of bacterial transfer. Additionally, researchers determined that ceramic tiles and steel were the most likely to experience this problem. In contrast, wood floors tended to vary when it came to fallen food becoming contaminated.

The five second rule is no longer allowed!

Unfortunately, the five second rule, that we’ve been applying for far too long, has served its purpose. The research simply does not sustain its application. The numbers are huge! Per the CDC, 12% of the average annual 9 million cases of all food borne illness cases are caused by bacterial transfer from contaminated surfaces. Hopefully, the study’s results will help reduce this number of incidents. It should. The CDC should not have to focus their attention on people getting sick from fallen food.