Did We Just Lose the 5-Second Rule?

Did We Just Lose the 5-Second Rule?

Calling all clumsy eaters…you may need to sit down for this.

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The five-second rule is a myth-turned-fact to many people. The classic belief is that if you drop any kind of food on the floor, if you get it within 5-seconds you’re golden because bacteria can’t move to it that fast.

Several researchers sought an answer to this seemingly generations-old assumption and were recently published in the journal, Applied and Enviromental Microbiology.

Their findings?

No, it doesn’t take five second for bacterial to get on food.

The authors, Robyn Miranda and Donald Schaffner of Rutgers U, say that, before them, only three studies on this subject seemed to exist. And, to add insult to injury, only of these studies was actually published. The other two simply received press releases.

How did they test this rule?

Well, they left watermelon, bread, bread with butter, and gummy candy on several different surfaces contained with “Enterobacter aerogenes” which is a food-borne bacteria. They left them for 5, 10, and 300 seconds.

Sadly…it took LESS than a second for some bacterial transfer. So not only does our five second rule get ripped away from us but even if we use ninja-link reflexes to grab our goodies off the god-for-saken-ground they still might be riddled with bacteria.

However, longer time in contact did not necessarily correlate with more bacteria transfer. So if you’ve been living by the 5-second rule your entire existence with no plans on changing…maybe you can extend it to 6 seconds.

This image comes from Flickr User Joel Gillman and is licensed under Creative Commons.

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