We have all done it, dropped something we were really enjoying eating on the floor. You quickly scoop it up and maybe blow some dust off it....then the dilemma. Can you still eat it?
This is where urban myth comes in - the legendary five second rule. Simply put: If you pick it up off the floor within five seconds it is safe to eat. The germs don't have time to climb on or something.
You may have this was just an excuse we use because we really want that bit of food until now and a group of scientists have finally started looking at what matters and they have discovered....drum roll......the five second rule is real!
Researchers as Aston University led by Anthony Hilton, Professor of Microbiology, set up a study that measured the transfer of the common bacteria E Coli and Staphylococcus aureus from different types of floor (carpet, laminate and tiled surfaces) onto several different types of food from dry toast to sticky sweets after being dropped for different amounts of time from 3 to 30 seconds.
The results showed that:
Professor Hilton said: “Consuming food dropped on the floor still carries an infection risk as it very much depends on which bacteria are present on the floor at the time; however the findings of this study will bring some light relief to those who have been employing the five-second rule for years, despite a general consensus that it is purely a myth.
"We have found evidence that transfer from indoor flooring surfaces is incredibly poor with carpet actually posing the lowest risk of bacterial transfer onto dropped food."
The Aston team also carried out a survey to find out how gross people really are and they found out
Professor Hilton added:“Our study showed that a surprisingly large majority of people are happy to consume dropped food, with women the most likely to do so. But they are also more likely to follow the 5 second rule, which our research has shown to be much more than an old wives' tale.”