Study: Five-second rule is too generous for fallen food

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — It might be time to reconsider the five-second rule when thinking about eating food that has fallen on the floor.

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey say in a new study that bacteria can contaminate food that falls on the floor instantaneously.

The findings were published this month in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal.

Researcher Donald Schaffner said the five-second rule is a “significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food.”

Schaffner’s research isn’t the first to conclude that the favorite excuse for why that yummy snack that fell on the ground is still OK to eat is wrong.

The research did find that longer contact time means more bacterial transfer, but that the type of food and surface is just as, or more, important.

The Rutgers researchers tested watermelon, bread, bread and butter, and gummy candy on stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet.

They found that watermelon had the most contamination, and that transfer of bacteria is affected most by moisture.

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s