The five-second rule has long-since been regarded as the most dubious of principles. Sure, we all know a guy who swears by it (I know a guy who swears by it who once ate a soft pretzel he found discarded under his seat at a Phillies game, so I don’t even know what rule that would fall under), but is it really any safer to eat food that has only been dropped on the ground for a lesser amount of time?
As it turns out, it is. A new Discovery Science Channel show, “The Quick and the Curious,” decided to take on the five-second rule and found out that, yes, there is a difference. As this video explains, the five-second rule is actually the “30-second moisture and surface rule.” While food dropped on the floor will collect small amounts of bacteria immediately, moist foods left on the ground for 30 seconds or more will end up with 10 times the bacteria as foods that were dropped for only three. That seems like… pretty simple math to me.
Also, for future reference, carpeting transfers less germs than hard surfaces, because there’s less surface area touching the food. The only confusing part is why the guy in the video demonstrated his point by walking up to strangers and offering them cookies that he dropped on the ground. Jerk move, guy.
(Via HuffPo Science)