Does the Five-Second Rule Work? New Research Says...

April 03, 2016Apr 03, 2016

If you drop a piece of food on the floor and pick it up within three seconds, or five seconds, or even ten seconds, is it safe to eat? According to the UK Telegraph, about 37 percent of people would, whether it be the kitchen or the living room floor.


But nearly half of people use just a broom to clean their floors, and another 43 percent just use air freshener to mask odor buildup. Researchers say neither method works for killing bacteria, so eating fallen food even within moments of it touching the floor puts you at risk of Salmonella and E. coli.

Contrary to some beliefs, dangerous bacteria and germs don't get blown aside by the impact of food hitting the floor before they finally recover and crawl onto the food after several seconds. Researchers say contamination is almost instant.

Queen Mary University microbiologist Dr. Ronald Cutler says, "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."