Friday, March 25, 2011

Seconds Don't Really Count

Scicurious, on Neurotic Physiology, discusses an important paper looking at the validity of the "five-second rule." You know, the law of nature that says if you drop a food item on the floor it's still OK to eat as long as you pick it up within five seconds.

The study appears to have found that, sadly, it's not how fast you pick it up, it's how dirty the floor was to start with.

So if you drop something on a nice clean floor, you can leave it there for 20 minutes and then eat it at your leisure (this is what I like to do), but if that floor is all gross and crawling with bacteria, you could snatch it up instantly and it would still be covered with germs (this is like my floors).

Of course, as far as I'm concerned, it all comes down to how rare and delicious the food is.

Also, as Sci points out,

One thing to keep in mind here. Just because there’s bacteria on your food, doesn’t mean you will get sick. To be honest, there’s bacteria in MOST of your food, MOST of the time. On your hands, on your kitchen sink, on your fork. Our bodies are generally pretty good at fighting this stuff off. So just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you’ll get sick.

Wise words. This is why I go ahead and eat something after leaving it on my disgusting floor for 20 minutes. Well, not usually. Only if it's chocolate.

And I would also brush it off first, which magically makes it good and wholesome again.


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