If you drop food on the floor and pick it up within five seconds, it’s safe to eat. At least that’s the theory behind the five-second rule used by 50 percent of men and 70 percent of women.
Some people use a three-second rule, but the fact is that bacteria manage to adhere to food almost immediately, and there’s plenty of bacteria waiting to hitch a ride on your freshly dropped food. Your floor may look squeaky clean, but a University of Arizona study revealed that about 90 percent of our shoes are contaminated with fecal matter after three months of wear. Yuck! We’re spreading bacteria wherever we walk.
Vsauce host Michael Stevens created this fascinating video that takes an in-depth look at the science behind the five-second rule.
Bacteria are everywhere, including the keyboard I’m currently using, and it only takes about 10 bacteria of some strains of salmonella to make you sick. We’ve got an abundance of bacteria on our kitchen counters, our purses, and just about everywhere. The truly amazing news in all this is that the human immune system manages to fight off harmful bacteria most of the time.
According to the National Institutes of Health, bacteria are so small that a line of 1,000 could fit across a pencil eraser. It’s easy to dismiss what we can’t see. Still, thinking about that fecal matter on our shoes might make you want to reconsider that five-second rule…