The Five Second Rule: Should We Really Follow It? The scientists' answer

According to this theory, you can eat anything that has fallen to the ground as long as it hasn't been lying for more than five seconds. Scientists have made the decision to finally address this principle.

For some, the five-second rule is incredible, while for others, it is routine. It's about food that's come into contact with the floor; if we pick it up at a certain time, the bacteria won't pass on to the food, and we'll be safe. Experts refute this bold and popular Internet thesis.

The five-second rule—where did it come from?

The principle of consenting to eat food that has fallen to us has no specific and well-documented origin. Is it, however, really safe to eat food that has only been on the floor for five seconds?

Dr. Paul Dawson, a professor of food sciences at Clemson University and co-author of the book "Did You Just Eat That?" on food safety, conducted advanced research on this theory. Dawson wanted to see if the length of time the food is exposed to the contaminated surface affects the rate at which bacteria are transferred to the food.

He said, “To find out, we injected salmonella into tile, carpet, and wood squares. We counted how many bacteria were on the sausage and bread after five minutes by putting them on each surface for five, thirty, or sixty seconds. Then we repeated the process for two hours, four hours, eight hours, and twenty-four hours.”

The study's conclusions  and results were published in The Journal of Applied Microbiology .

Residence time and food contact time effects on transfer of Salmonella Typhimurium from tile, wood and carpet: testing the five-second rule


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