It is a question of eternal debate: Can you eat food that’s hit the floor if it’s touched it for less than five seconds? The five second rule is a conundrum that’s been tackled by some of America’s most preeminent scientists, and now, someone has an answer.
Essentially, Doctor Anthony Hilton, Professor of Microbiology at Aston University, and his final-year students put the rule to the test. They tracked E. Coli and staph bacteria as they transferred from various floor surfaces to different types of food, in an effort to definitely prove or disprove the five-second rule. The results, according to Aston University?
Time is a significant factor in the transfer of bacteria from a floor surface to a piece of food; and
the type of flooring the food has been dropped on has an effect, with bacteria least likely to transfer from carpeted surfaces and most likely to transfer from laminate or tiled surfaces to moist foods making contact for more than 5 seconds.
Yeah, but food dropped on a carpet probably has carpet fuzz on it. Who the hell would eat that?
Anyway, if your food is dry and dropped on a hard surface, the five second rule does indeed apply, although anything beyond that is just gross. And if you drop a moist food on the floor, you should probably just throw it out. Also, according to an accompanying survey conducted, women were more likely to eat food that had hit the floor than men, so HA! Boys aren’t gross after all. Well, in that respect.