If you’re a supporter of the “5-second rule”, we may have some bad news for you.

Despite generations of people being content with quickly sweeping dropped food off the floor in an allotted time-frame and deeming it still safe to eat, it seems that it’s not that healthy.

New research has revealed that the “5-second rule” (which also goes by the 3-second rule and the 10-second rule, depending on your hygiene levels) doesn’t protect your food against dirt and germs; bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella stick to food almost immediately.

“The five-second rule has little effect on the amount of bacteria you would pick up from a heavily contaminated surface,” said Dr Ronald Cutler, a microbiologist at London’s Queen Mary University.

“Think about this; if you drop food on a floor, it’s better to put it in the bin rather than your mouth.

“No matter if it’s at home on the carpet, the kitchen floor or in the street, my advice is if you drop it, chuck it.”

The study also discovered that 37 per cent of participants would eat food that had fallen on the kitchen floor and 38 per cent would do the same to food that had been dropped on to the living room floor.

So if you have that practice of picking up food which you drop on the floor at home or in the office – stop!

Be sure to teach your kids too. Young children tend to pick food up from the floor and put it in their mouth when they drop it. If you see that, be sure to teach them that’s it’s not safe to eat so that you inculcate in them the habit.

Text: Deirdre Fogarty/The Australian Women’s Weekly / Additional Reporting: Sean Tan / Photos: Pixabay

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