Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The 5-Second Rule Has Scientific Backing


It's been the saviour of many a food mishap: as long as you pick your dropped item up from the floor within five seconds, then it'll be fine (and any longer just stick it on a barbecue and it'll 'burn off').

But now it seems like there is actual, real, scientific evidence to back up this long-held, but much-derided claim. A team of students at Aston University in Birmingham, led by Professor of Microbiology Anthony Hilton, studied the transfer of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus from a variety of indoor floor surfaces to a variety of food types, over a range of times, from 3 to 30 seconds.

They found that "time is a significant factor in the transfer of bacteria from a floor surface to a piece of food", with the factor positively correlated. In addition, the type of flooring is important: hardwood is bad for bacteria transfer (well, good for the bacteria, but bad for you) whilst a carpet gives you a bit more chance of escaping, infection-free.

Hilton continued, "Consuming food dropped on the floor still carries an infection risk as it very much depends on which bacteria are present on the floor at the time; however the findings of this study will bring some light relief to those who have been employing the five-second rule for years, despite a general consensus that it is purely a myth."

And remember to shake it a bit, and blow on it - that'll sort it properly for sure.

(Images: Shutterstock)

[via Gizmodo]



10 Food Apps You Don’t Know About


Top 10 Movie Scientists


Scientists Create Light Bullet


Delicious Food Maps of the World


Scientists discover most relaxing tune ever


Exclusive Films in five seconds



We asked British exorcists to tell us what they do

Exorcists speak about their experiences in the UK

by David Cornish
28 Oct 2016

Male contraceptive jab now as effective as female pill

Research says it's almost 100 per cent successful

28 Oct 2016

Michael Moore just explained why Trump will win the US election

“Trump’s election WILL be the biggest 'fuck you' recorded in human history"

by Tom Fordy
28 Oct 2016

The unwritten rules of travel etiquette

We've written them down, so now there's no excuse

by David Cornish
27 Oct 2016

World on track to lose two-thirds of animals by 2020

*Slow hand clap*

by Tom Fordy
27 Oct 2016

Danny Wallace on a case of mistaken identity at the supermarket

26 Oct 2016

There's an adult-sized version of the toy car we all had

Forget your Ferarris, this is where it's at

by Dave Fawbert
25 Oct 2016

Obama just obliterated Trump On Jimmy Kimmel's 'Mean Tweets'

The bewigged one just got served

by Joe Ellison
25 Oct 2016

Stephen King teased Donald Trump story and Twitter reacted wonderfully

We can't think of many scarier things than this man as President

by Tom Fordy
24 Oct 2016

This American listed everything we Brits do better than our US cousins

Including cheese, sarcasm and knowing which bit of your body to hit a ball with

by Tom Fordy
24 Oct 2016