Is the Five-Second Rule Actually Safe for Dropped Food?

  • Thread starter Greg Bernhardt
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In summary, microbiologists have found that the five-second rule does exist, with carpeted surfaces being least likely to transfer bacteria to food. Toast can sit on the floor for longer without collecting bacteria, while pasta needs to be picked up within 5 seconds. However, further research is needed to verify these findings and determine the exact amount of bacteria transferred from different surfaces.
  • #1
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The five-second rule DOES exist
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ed-floor-isnt-dangerous-especially-toast.html

Microbiologists tracked the transfer of common bacteria from indoor floors
They monitored toast, pasta, sweets and biscuits dropped onto carpet, laminate and tiled surfaces
Carpeted surfaces were least likely to transfer bacteria to any of the food
Pasta had to be picked up in 5 seconds but toast could sit on floor for longer

For me if it's dry, good to go, if wet or sticky, no go :)
 
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  • #2
toast could sit on floor for longer

But I though toast always lands buttered side (or jam side) down! Wouldn't that side tend to pick up bacteria more easily? :confused:
 
  • #3
I can't find a citation to, or an abstract of, any published work in the peer-reviewed lit. I've searched Google Scholar, Pubmed and the Aston University page under his name: http://www.aston.ac.uk/lhs/staff/az-index/hiltonac/, none of which have any obvious link to this work. I would've expected the last link at least to have something, but no joy.

I would want to see a proper article in a peer-reviewed journal before accepting this sort of thing. But, sadly, this seems to be the way Science is done nowadays - go to (the lay) press before you go to (scientific) print.
 
  • #4
Take this for what it is, a user-submitted youtube video (albeit a very good one) on the subject that is related to this thread:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYXdsOEWBj0
 
  • #5
Here's the article from the VSauce video:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17381737

Over 99% of bacterial cells were transferred from the tile to the bologna after 5 s of bologna exposure to tile. Transfer from carpet to bologna was very low (<0.5%) when compared with the transfer from wood and tile (5-68%).
 
  • #6
jtbell said:
But I though toast always lands buttered side (or jam side) down! Wouldn't that side tend to pick up bacteria more easily? :confused:

The butter or jam that touches the floor, I think, would most likely be stuck to the floor, leaving your toast germ free.
 

Related to Is the Five-Second Rule Actually Safe for Dropped Food?

What is the five-second rule?

The five-second rule is a belief that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat if it is picked up within five seconds.

Is the five-second rule scientifically proven?

No, the five-second rule has not been scientifically proven. It is a myth that has been debunked by several studies.

Why do some people still believe in the five-second rule?

Some people may still believe in the five-second rule because they have not been exposed to the scientific evidence against it. It may also be a cultural or personal belief.

What are the potential risks of following the five-second rule?

The potential risks of following the five-second rule include consuming harmful bacteria or pathogens that may be present on the floor. This can lead to food poisoning or other illnesses.

How can we prevent the need for the five-second rule?

The best way to prevent the need for the five-second rule is to maintain clean and hygienic surfaces in your home, especially in the kitchen. It is also important to handle and store food properly to prevent contamination.

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