I heard this report as I was scanning radio stations on my way home last night. Since I often "claim this rule" I thought I would share it with you. So this is courtesy of the John Tesh Show!
Do you use the "5-second rule"?
You know, if food falls on the floor and you pick it up within 5 seconds, it's safe to eat. Well, it really depends on the floor.
Here's what researchers at the University of Illinois found out:
The first person to implement the rule was Genghis Khan. But his standards were really low - as far as he was concerned, anything was safe to eat if you picked it up within 12 hours.
They also discovered that women are more likely than men to eat food that falls on the floor.
And cookies and candy are more likely to be picked up and eaten than a piece of broccoli.
So, they tested the "5-second rule" on various university floors. In elevators, libraries, cafeterias, and in front of the vending machines. And the floors were so bacteria-free, they tested them twice. They weren't sure whether the cleanliness was due to dry conditions, or an awesome custodial staff. But food dropped on those floors was safe to eat after 5 seconds. Then they tried the test again.... This time in a lab. They contaminated the floor with bacteria, and dropped cookies and gummy bears on it. In every case, bacteria was transferred to the food within 5 seconds or less.
So, what's the bottom line? Since you can't tell if your floor is bacteria-free, the basic rule of thumb is: If you drop it, toss it.