How many times have you heard someone use the five-second rule.? You know the one, they drop a piece of food on the ground, pick it up quickly and pop it in their mouth, saying it couldn’t possibly be soiled in five seconds or less?
Well the next time someone you know does that, remind them that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year, one in six Americans gets sick from foodborne illness, and even though eating dropped food isn’t the usual way for people to get food poisoning, the risk of contamination still exists. Research also shows that bacteria can last for hours, days, even weeks, although the amount diminishes over time.
The bottom line is this, food that’s been dropped on the floor is contaminated almost immediately with any organisms it comes in contact with. So the prudent thing to do is toss it, why risk the chance that you could get ill? Is it worth it?