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The Five Second Rule

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Everybody has dropped food on the floor. What do you do? Call the “Five Second Rule” of course! This rule states that if you drop something on the floor, you can eat it within five  seconds. Is it true, or is it just a myth? There isn’t enough time for it to get covered in germs. Right? But is it true?

Scientists at Rutgers University thought about this same question. They tried four different foods, and four different surfaces. They tested watermelon, gummy candy, plain bread, and buttered bread. The scientists  dropped the foods on tile, stainless steel, wood, and carpeting. Time was then the factor to consider!  They let the foods sit for less than one second, five seconds, thirty seconds, and three hundred seconds. They tested each combination many times.

What did they discover? The items with the most moisture picked up bacteria the quickest. Watermelon picked up the most bacteria, with buttered bread coming in second, bread in third, and gummy candy in last. The surface mattered too. Carpets transferred the least bacteria, while hard surfaces like tile and steel transferred the most. However, even when foods had only touched the floor for a few seconds, they received some bacteria. So, although foods attract more bacteria the longer they sit on the floor, your food will still be dirty if you drop it, even if you pick it up within five  seconds. If you are bothered by bacteria on your food, the five second rule is a MYTH.

 

Source: https://superscience.scholastic.com/issues/2016-17/050117/testing-the-five-second-rule.html

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1 Comment

One Response to “The Five Second Rule”

  1. 3LR on January 29th, 2018 10:05 am

    We think it’s probably best to not count seconds (5 seconds or not) when food falls to the ground or floor!
    Maybe inside is different than outside because there are probably less germs.

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