five-second rule three-second experiment

Say It Isn’t So! Proof That The Five-Second Is Rubbish, Food Picks Up Bacteria ‘Instantly’

A new experiment reveals that the infamous five-second rule is rubbish and has no scientific value to back it up.

Those who are guilty of abusing the five-second rule should be concerned for their health, as this television experiment proves that it’s dangerous to eat food that has been dropped onto the floor.

No matter how difficult it is to say goodbye to that delicious treat that has been dropped onto the floor, it’s best to leave it out of your mouth – even if it’s been on the floor for less than five seconds.

The Daily Mail reported that a TV experiment has found that food actually picks up bacteria “almost instantly,” meaning that the five-second rule has no scientific value to back it up.

For decades, people have been led to believe in the bizarre myth that it’s safe to eat food that has been dropped on the floor as long as it has been picked up within five seconds.

But it looks like people will have to say goodbye to the habit of picking up all that popcorn dropped onto the floor of cinemas. Unless, of course, they want to mess with their health just because they wanted that deliciously salted popcorn while watching Despicable Me 3.

Neither the five-second rule nor the three-second rule are safe to follow, as the TV show How To Stay Well conducted an experiment and came to the not-so surprising conclusion that eating food off the floor could be dangerous.

In the Monday episode that attracted global attention from people guilty of abusing the five-second rule, Dr. Javid Abdelmoneim tested how much bacteria and dirt people are putting in their mouths when misled by the bizarre rule.

The Channel 4 show demonstrated the experiment that involved Dr. Abdelmoneim dropping slices of carrot cake on different types of floors. As seen from the investigation, the five-second rule is a complete myth as food left on the floor for both five seconds and 30 seconds picked up nearly the same amount of bacteria.

Not to mention the conclusion that food dropped on the floor picks up bacteria “almost instantly” and it doesn’t even matter if the food was dropped onto the kitchen floor or the outside pavement.

After microbiologist Professor Laura Bowater from the University of East Anglia tested samples of food that had been on the floor, she told the Channel 4 show that the carrot cake attracted the same amount of germs when dropped for both five and 30 seconds.

Lambasting the five-second rule, she also added that wet food is more likely to pick up more bacteria and germs than dry food, as the moisture has the tendency to collect more dirt.

Although the amount of bacteria found on the cake that had been dropped onto the kitchen floor still makes it not safe to eat, the experiment showed that there was more bacteria on the cake dropped onto the pavement than on the kitchen floor.

Professor Bowater also found that none of the bacteria found on the cake “would make a healthy adult or toddler sick.” However, as the number of bacteria increases, there is always a risk of eating a harmful one.

Modern science has no consensus on this matter, but some scientists are adamant that eating food off the floor could boost the immune system. Professor Bowater begs to disagree, advising people to stay off the food that has been dropped on the floor.

She also added that people should instead opt for being “exposed to friendly bacteria” by “getting out and about.”

Do you swear by the five-second rule, or perhaps the three-second rule? Interestingly, Australians typically adopt the ten-second rule: yet another reminder of how laid-back and casual Australians can be.

[Featured Image by denisgo/Shutterstock]

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