Do you trust the 5-second rule?

Everybody knows the rule. If you drop food on the floor, you have five seconds to pick it up before it gets nasty and contaminated with germs.

But is that rule really safe?

Researchers at Clemson University decided to test out the theory by dropping bologna on surfaces which had been contaminated with salmonella.

They found that even if the bologna was picked up within five seconds, it still had enough salmonella microbes on it to make you sick. If it was picked up after one minute, it had about 10 times as many microbes.

So quicker is better, but before you eat it you may want to think about how clean the floor really is and how much you really want that bologna.


  1. I’ve heard about this one… three times now. First time on mythbusters

    second time in a magazine, and third time right here. When the mythbusters tested it they also tested two other related myths, one, If a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, and two, if the toilet seat really is the cleanest place in your house. Believe it or not, both tested to be true.

  2. everyone knows that rule is not for chemicals. The 5 second rule is for like dropping cheese on the grass. Eat it in 5 seconds and no bugs will be on it. Did they do a study to see if a bug can get on food in 5 seconds?

  3. The rule mainly applies to dry foods like chips or cookies. Don’t eat bologna or noodles or anything moist off the ground because it gets germs faster.

  4. I used to think it was a 10 second rule. But now that I know not to trust it I might not use it! Thanks researchers! And thank for tellin’ me about it!

  5. I think that if we realized how many bacteria and germs we come into close contact with every day, we would gag. The world is a filthy place.

  6. i’ve never had any problem eating stuff off the the ground. My rule: If it looks good, tastes good, it is good. (unless you barf later. then it probably wasn’t good) 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.