5 Seconds and Counting

Five-Second Rule- Debunked!

*Drops food on the floor* Thinks...“Five-second rule!”. *Eats the food*. We’re all guilty... 


...at least Guest Blogger Allison Beattie thinks so.

A legit study done by Donald W. Schaffner, microbiologist at Rutgers University, published in Applied Environmental Microbiology,  and reported in the NYTimes says that no matter how fast you pick up the food, the food is faster at picking up bacteria (a new interpretation of Fast Food?)

Let's think. What touches the floor most? Our shoes. Our feet. Now think about all of the surfaces your shoes have touched. So that cookie you just dropped on the floor has a nice coating of germs and bacteria from that sidewalk you just walked on, the path you just hiked and the dog park you just visited. Yum, right?

No!  Schaffner dropped four different foods on the ground then picked them up at several intervals. What did he find?  That the five-second rule does have some vailidity. The food on the floor for 1 second had less bacteria than the food picked up after 5 seconds. But no food completely escaped contamination. So is the five-second rule a no go?

Yes. Cross surface contamination is the sixth most common factor in foodborne illness. So grab a fresh,undropped cookie and enjoy it- germ free!

Maintaining clean and separate surfaces are key ways to prevent foodborne illnesses. Click here: KeepSafeFood.com for the tools that make it easy to Protect Your Plate at home.