Let’s be honest here for a second. We’ve ALL eaten food of the floor. There’s no shame in admitting it…well, there’s very little shame in admitting it. Anyway, eating food of the floor is something we’ve either all done or thought of doing. The rule we use to justify our floor eats is the 5-Second Rule. There has been much controversy whether eating food of the floor and recovering it within 5 seconds is fact or fiction. As it turns out, the rule is true in most cases!
NASA Engineer Mike Meacham partnered with Inside Edition created a video to show how the 5-Second Rule works. In the video, Meacham offered strangers free cookies, but they had to eat the cookie after he dropped it on the ground. Citing the 5-Second Rule to say that the cookie was still okay to eat, some participants still wouldn’t eat the cookies. Only one person took a bite out of the cookie after it was dropped on the floor.
The narrator of the video says that the 5-Second Rule is apart of the “30 Second Moisture-And-Surface Rule.” When you any food falls on the floor, small amounts of bacteria latch onto the food immediately. But, moist foods that are left longer than 30 seconds collect “10 times the bacteria than those snapped up after only three.” “E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria love wet environments.” The moisture in the food, such as water, is absorbed by the bacteria allowing it to grow and multiply.
So, the 5-Second Rule has a scientific basis for the most part. Picking up that cookie or candy you dropped on dry group within 30 seconds is fine to eat. The same with moist food as long as you’re in that 30 second window. To be safe, I’d advise not eating moist food of the ground, but you do what you gotta do. As long as it’s dry, you’re in the clear.