The five-second rule has a simple premise. If a food item falls on the floor, then it can be eaten or used in cooking as long as it’s not on the floor for more than five seconds. However, research shows that this rule is not true and can be dangerous.
The five-second rule isn’t safe advice to follow in the kitchen!
Learn more about the real facts:
- What is the five-second rule? The five-second rule lets you eat food off the floor as long as it hasn’t been on the ground for more than five seconds. Many people use this rule as an excuse to pick up dirty food and keep eating it.
A study from the journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology shows that the five-second rule isn’t correct.
Researchers studied food that had fallen on the floor and found that bacteria start to contaminate it the first second it lands. If you wait five seconds, you’re taking a risk of having food that makes you ill.
Researchers studied food dropped on several different surfaces including carpet, tile, and wood.
They learned that the type of surface the food lands on does make a difference. For example, there was less bacteria on food that landed on a carpet. Nevertheless, all the surfaces had bacteria that got on the food.
- Why is the five-second rule so common? It’s unclear who came up with the idea first, but the five-second rule appears to cross gender and race lines.
The five-second rule is common among both women and men. Adults and children falsely believe they can eat food from the floor if it hasn’t been on the ground for a long time.
These types of ideas tend to get spread in families and passed down from generation to generation.
False beliefs and food myths are common, so this may explain why the five-second rule is so prevalent.
- Contamination risks to consider. It’s important to understand that bacteria live on all surfaces, including your kitchen or dining room floor. Contamination can occur on any surface.
You can’t see the bacteria, but they’re living in your house. It’s dangerous to eat food that has landed on the floor since you clean your floors less often than your kitchen counters.
Another reason why it’s risky to eat food that has landed on the floor is related to your shoes and feet. They track dirt and bacteria from outside into your home. Even if you forbid people from wearing shoes in the kitchen, their feet can carry bacteria from other rooms.
Bacteria can cause upset stomachs and more serious illnesses.
It takes less than a second for bacteria to start covering a piece of food that has landed on the floor.
- Safety precautions you can take. First and foremost, avoid using food that has fallen on the floor. Even if you think your floor is clean, you’re putting your health at risk by eating anything that falls on the floor.
Another precaution is to keep food away from the floor by working on large, uncluttered kitchen counters.
The five-second rule is a common misconception that is used by many households. You don’t want to risk your health or the health of your loved ones by following it. Instead, focus on keeping food off the floor and ensure it doesn’t get eaten if it falls.