Does the five-second rule work with food?

Does the five-second rule work with food?

When food falls on the floor, such as crackers, ham, or even bread, some people tend to pick up the food “quickly”. After all, we have five seconds to do it safely, according to common sense. However, this is a myth shared by countless children and adults, but it is totally unscientific.

Within five seconds, many bacteria and, in some cases, floor viruses can stick to food, especially when the food lands on a smooth surface like the kitchen floor. This is the conclusion reached by a team of researchers from Clemson University in the United States in an article published in the scientific journal Journal of Applied Microbiology.

It is a myth that food that has fallen to the ground can be eaten safely. Salmonella can be transmitted in less than 5 seconds (Photo: clone/iLexx/Envato Elements)

What will happen in five seconds?

In one experiment, American researchers observed that more than 99% of bacterial cells were transferred from the floor to a slice of mortadella after five seconds of contact. However, the “transportation [das bactérias] From the rug to the mortadella it was very low, when compared to transporting wood and tiles,” they explain.

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a salmonella typhi Among the main dangers of consuming some foods that have fallen to the ground is that they can survive for up to four weeks on dry surfaces. The bacteria are known to cause typhoid fever, an illness that causes prolonged fever and intestinal problems. According to North American researchers, transmission of bacteria to food occurs “almost immediately after contact.”

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Dangers of food falling on the floor

Researcher Dominic Sparkes, from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the UK, argues that transmission of bacteria depends on when food comes into contact with the ground, but also on the type of surface. Sparks did not contribute to the Clemson University study, ie.

Regarding the dangers of eating food on the floor, “Most bacteria do not cause gastrointestinal disease, but there are some — salmonella, for example — that not only cause gastroenteritis but can also survive for long periods on surfaces. These can Bacteria causes discomfort,” Sparks told IFL Science.

There are other bacteria that are often found in the environment and produce toxins. for example, Sirius bacilli bacteria. When ingested, these toxins induce vomiting, and food is more likely to pick up these organisms if they are rolled on the kitchen floor,” says Sparks. In other words, cases of food poisoning can be reported.

Now, when food falls to the floor again, think at least twice before putting it in your mouth to avoid any risk of contamination.

Source: Journal of Applied Microbiology NS IFL Science

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

"Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist."

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