I’m Blowing the Lid Off the ‘Five-Second Rule’
A cookie hits the floor. Someone yells, "Five-second rule," scoops it up, and eats it. Or maybe it's a cracker.
I don't do the five-second rule anymore. There's just too much bacteria these days, it seems. I mean, I guess we've ALWAYS had bacteria, but I don't remember as many reports of e.coli or listeria contaminations when I was a kid as I do now.
I read a study a long time ago and I honestly cannot find it. But it was about the five-second rule and it said that "dry foods" like crackers can survive the five seconds and that "wet" foods like fruits, vegetables, even bread cannot. It does make sense, but don't hold me to that. Like I said, I've searched and can't find that report.
UPDATE (FROM LATER, THAT SAME DAY): Hold the phone. I found the story. It's from Syracuse.com in 2007, and it suggested changing the "five-second rule" to the "30-second rule."
Seniors at Connecticut College took apple slices and Skittles and dropped them on the floors of a dining hall and a snack bar for 5, 10, 30, and 60 second intervals and then analyzed them. They also let them sit there for five minutes.
Their research showed that no bacteria had attached to the samples after 5, 10, or 30 seconds. But the apples were contaminated after a minute and the Skittles after five minutes.
Okay, now fast forward to a scientific study, highlighted by WebMD, that revealed a germ transfer from two different sterile surfaces onto a cookie and a gummi bear within five seconds.
The latter revelation is why I tossed my peanut butter cracker into the trash. I just think there IS more bacteria present today than even just 13 years ago.
Plus, I look at this way--there's ANOTHER cracker, ANOTHER cookie, ANOTHER potato chip. You don't need THAT one.