Dear Patient and Fastidious Readers,
Madame L believes you will be delighted to hear that the five-second rule appears to be a good rule to go by.
Madame L has heard of the study a few years ago that supposedly found
that even one second is enough for horrible germs to get on some dropped
But the latest scientific research, at Aston University in the U.K., seems
to have found that "...food picked up just a few seconds after being
dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer
periods of time."
This research was conducted by
final-year biology students at the university. It reminds Madame L of
research done by some of her biology lab students a few years ago,
looking for the most likely sites of bacteria around a university
campus. It reminds Madame L of that research in that it was done by
These students' supervising professor said, "Consuming food dropped on the floor still carries an infection
risk as it very much depends on which bacteria are present on the floor
at the time; however the findings of this study will bring some light
relief to those who have been employing the five-second rule for years,
despite a general consensus that it is purely a myth."
He added, "We
have found evidence that transfer from indoor flooring surfaces is
incredibly poor with carpet actually posing the lowest risk of bacterial
transfer onto dropped food."
go for it, Dear Readers! Oh, by the way, the science students also
found that almost 90% of people they surveyed have eaten or think they
might eat food dropped on the floor; but most of them say they would
follow the five-second rule.