We all know the devastation that comes with dropping a much coveted piece food on the floor, so naturally on occasion we have employed the Five Second Rule.
But unfortunately for those of us who’ve justified the consumption of fallen food with the argument that it “barely touched the floor”, a two-year study has found that no matter how little time food spends on your kitchen tiles it will undoubtedly pick up bacteria.
According to The New York Times, the recently published results of the New Jersey based study which tested four different types of foods – cut watermelon, bread, buttered bread and gummy candy - on four different types of surfaces – stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet – for periods of one, five, 30 and 300 seconds show that no fallen food escaped contamination.
While the research did show that the longer the food spent on the ground the more bacteria it picked up, the main microbiologist involved said that “bacteria can contaminate instantaneously”.
The surfaces which transferred the most germs were tiles and stainless steel, while the food which absorbed the most bacteria was watermelon because of its moist texture.
So all those seemingly grand bits of toast, pasta, doughnuts and cake that bounced from the floor right into our bellies were well and truly – shudder – contaminated.