Is the 5-Second Rule for Real? Yes? You've Got 30 Seconds to Read This! by Mei Marcie

Family Health
7 years ago

Is the 5-Second Rule for Real? Yes? You've Got 30 Seconds to Read This!

Researchers at Rutgers University did an interesting study on the "5-second rule" (you know, the "rule" that says it's OK to pick up dropped food within five seconds and eat it). How do you study the 5-second rule? The team used:

  • four different surfaces (stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet) 
  • four different foods (watermelon, bread, bread with butter, and gummy candy)
  • four different contact times (less than 1 second, 5 seconds, 30 seconds and 300 seconds)
  • the bacteria Enterobacter aerogenes, which is related to Salmonella

It was found that bacteria can contaminate instantaneously, and the wetter the food, the higher the risk of transfer. Longer food contact times usually resulted in the transfer of more bacteria from each surface. So, it may be time to rethink the 5-second rule! 

The study was published in the journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Read more here.

The information on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal health care provider.

Donna John
Wow! Good to know, @marciemom. And yuck!
Mei Marcie
Thanks for sharing this and yes, it's good to be able to say the 5 second rule is not true!! lol (Noone believed me previously!)

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