The question remains (and really challenged by germaphobes) whether it is or is not a rule we should put weight behind. Is it really OK to eat something off the floor if it was only there before a quick swoop of the hand?
Click "Read More" to get the answer.
Paul Dawson, a food scientist at the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at Clemson University says "Hell no!"* *This is not a real quote-I don't think scientists speak like that.
He and his students researched the 5 second rule and had their findings published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. They found that bacteria was transferred from floors to food within five seconds. So there is one smarty-pants against my vote.
According to the New York Times, Dr. Roy M. Gulick, chief of the division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College, agrees with Mr Dawson and his students. According to Dr Gulick, “Eating dropped food poses a risk for ingestion of bacteria and subsequent gastrointestinal disease, and the time the food sits on the floor does not change the risk.”
Let's go to a high schooler's opinion on the matter to make me feel a little better...
High school student Jillian Clarke, during an internship at the University of Illinois in 2003, discovered that E. coli bacteria can make it onto the food within 5 seconds. OK, so that is strike three for me (and that was done by a high schooler). She learned even more about it too. Would you believe women are more likely to eat food off the ground than me? Well apparently it's true. So maybe I'm less gross and just more gay. Though I don't know how many gay guys will the last sausage link that has fallen on the sidewalk during a spring brunch outside in the city.
So, the long and short of it is to leave it alone if you drop it. The 5 second rule is an urban legend and just a big lie.
Walk away, walk away and don't look back.
(I however will still abide by the rule and eat something I've dropped. And I know that many of you will too. Especially if you are in your own kitchen. Or homeless.) --MPS