Could quirky student study end storied five-second rule?
By TONY GERMANOTTA , The Virginian-Pilot May 18, 2007
A pair of biology seniors at Connecticut College decided to test the oft-cited maxim that food that sits less than five seconds on a floor remains safe to eat.
They used a well-traveled section of the college cafeteria; apple slices "because they were free," and Skittles, because there's an assumption that dry food is less susceptible to contamination, said researcher Molly Goettsche.
To simulate the real world, food was dropped off the edge of a cafeteria table. One pair of edibles sat on the floor for five seconds; others for 10, 30, 60 seconds; and, finally, for five minutes. They repeated the experiment under the supervision of a biology professor.
The results:No bacteria were found on any food left on the floor for up to half a minute. Apple slices and Skittles both got germy after a minute (although one Skittle took five minutes).
Goettsche, 23, and heading for a career in bio tech market research, said she won't eat from a floor despite their findings.
"Use your discretion," she advised. "I don't want to be responsible for changing the five-second rule to the 30-second rule
Last edited by stomperrob on Fri May 25, 2007 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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i have eaten a hot pocket that i dropped onto outdoor starirs. it then fell through the stairs and onto the bottom level. i found it amidst a pile of dirt, trash, lent, and leaves. i was hungry. and really drunk. we had just gone to the store for a food run...and no way in hell we were going back. and there wasn't anything in the house. i just dusted it off and ate it. lent and all. i was told the next day that that was by far the most disgusting display one of my best friends had ever seen.
but in general. no i don't eat food off the floor.
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RWLongy4 wrote:mythbusters actually did a comparison between the 5 second and 15 second rules. I'm fairly sure they determined there was no difference in the amount of germs between the 2 times.
I'm fairly certain this assessment is in error. I saw the same Mythbusters episode, and I remember the results as no matter whether one second, two seconds, five seconds, or fifteen seconds, food that comes in contact with a non-sterile surface such as a floor contracts bacteria equally.
Basically, bottom line is that once a piece of food hits the ground, it is instantly contaminated with bacteria. Since I've seen that episode, the 5-second rule is dead to me.
Really depends what kind of food it is and where the food falls. If it falls outside or in a dirty area inside, I let it go, but otherwise I'll usually pick it up.
funny story here. Once my friend and I were walking around outside and we come across a gummy bear that's lying in the dirt. We have no ide whose it is or how long its been there, but my friend picks it up and eats it