Ah, the Five Second Rule. You know, the urban legend of college campuses and teenage basements, where its widely accepted that if you drop food on the floor, its OK to pick up and eat it if you do so within 5 seconds of it hitting the floor. Building on an initial analysis done at the University of Illinois in 2003, Clemson University has conducted a follow up analysis and it was discussed in the NY Times today. The key takeaways:
Quick retrieval does mean fewer bacteria, but it’s no guarantee of safety…the five-second rule, version 2.0: If you drop a piece of food, pick it up quickly, take five seconds to recall that just a few bacteria can make you sick, then take a few more to think about where you dropped it and whether or not it’s worth eating.
And there you have it.