The urban myth goes like that: when you drop food on the floor, if you pick it up in less than five seconds, then it is ok to eat it. Is that right, or it’s just another urban myth?Food scientist Paul Dawson recently started studying whether such a myth can be accurate, and this is what he discovered.
Τhe idea that it is OK to eat food that has fallen on the floor has been attributed to Julia Child, who held the television cooking show “The French chef”. She dropped a potato pancake when cooking and advised the viewers that it is OK to eat it, as long as no one is in the kitchen to see you drop it. Βut no one really knows who thought up the five-second rule, although a 60% of people seem to know it.
Dawson’s study tried to calculate the time needed for the floor’s bacteria to contaminate the food, but came to the conclusion that time is not an actual factor that can affect the contamination. The only real factor that does have to do with that is the quantity of the bacteria that are on the floor and the cleanness οf the floor.
Truth is, in most cases one can be safe to assume that eating a fallen piece of food won’t cause them severe illness, as bacteria in general exist everywhere around us. But if you drop a toast on a muddy floor, then maybe it’s not the best idea to eat it right away!