Everyone’s done it: drop food on the floor, pick it up, eat it, enjoy it. Oh–and, ignore the fact that it was on the floor…
Even I am subject to such behavior, especially if I drop food in my own home. Here in my kitchen, something about the floor and germs being my floor and germs, I feel less hesitation in eating dropped food.
Perhaps that should be a habit of the past, after I just read an eye-opening Q&A from the New York Times about the five-second rule we’re all taught in elementary school.
Research published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology from 2007 tracked the bacteria transferred to dropped bologna after 5, 30 and 60 seconds on wood, tile and carpet. Unfortunately for those of us that may adhere to the five-second rule: ”more than 99 percent of the bacteria were transferred nearly immediately, and there was no difference by the time of contact.”
As infectious disease expert Dr. Roy M. Gulick, of Weill Cornell Medical College, put it: “the five-second rule probably should become the zero-second rule.” Well, there you have it.