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Does the Five-Second Rule Really Apply?

Burning Question: Does the Five-Second Rule Really Apply?

Have you ever dropped a coveted piece of food, only to pick it right back up, citing the "five-second rule"? I've always wondered whether this cultural phenomenon could actually contain an iota of truth. If something's only been dropped for a moment, does that mean it potentially picked up fewer germs?

A recent New York Times article sets the record straight. The five-second rule should really become the zero-second rule, because the time on the floor doesn't at all change the risk. In fact, a 2007 Clemson University study indicated that 99 percent of bacteria was transferred nearly immediately, and neither contact time nor various surfaces (wood, tile, carpet) affected the bacteria count.

Does this change your attitude toward food that's been dropped — if only for a second?

Got a burning question? Join the Burning Question group in the YumSugar Community! It's your place to post the most pressing questions about the culinary world.

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JanetG0307 JanetG0307 4 years
i agree, i don't know anyone who actually believed that 5 seconds prevented germs from getting onto your food. but i also agree with snarkypants, i'm not afraid of every single germ. that said, i don't make it a habit to pick food off the ground and eat it.
snarkypants snarkypants 4 years
i still abide by it. if the food's worth saving, that is. and it depends on where i dropped it. i'm not one of those people who's afraid of every little germ out there.
fuzzles fuzzles 4 years
He wishes!
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 4 years
This also made me think of "We almost had to switch to the ten second rule!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3s90t1SlKE
fuzzles fuzzles 4 years
:rotfl: Is it bacon?
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 4 years
I've never heard of anyone who believed that rule was true. Not saying that I don't know people who will eat absolutely anything off absolutely any floor.. Maybe everyone should go by this http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/01/you_dropped_food_on_the_floor.php hehe.
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