The Five Second Rule
According to lore and legend, dropped food that spends less than five seconds on the floor – the so-called five-second rule – is still safe to eat because rogue bacteria need more time to taint it.
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There are googles of opinions, and even legitimate scientific studies, but there still remains no consensus on how safe it is to eat dropped food. More information from Research and Naysayers. Feel free to skip it and head straight to ….
Let’s not over complicate this … The “5 second” Rule is not only a legitimate rule of eating etiquette, but a necessity of life for many. If you have kids, you know what I’m talking about. If you threw away everything that hit the floor, you might as well push your grocery cart right out the store and straight to the nearest garbage canister.
And this rule doesn’t only apply to homes with kids, but likely to anyone who’s penny conscious, pocket poor, or just plain hungry ! A college dorm comes to mind. Although, if I recall my days back in college, it was more like the “5 day” rule. And as I think more about it, it wasn’t so much about time, but instincts. A simple primal test of the senses, albeit not a lot of common sense. Basically, if you could identify it, and it didn’t offend the olfactory, it was worth further exploration.
Like many rules, the “5 second” rule has many incarnations, mostly based on the circumstances. But there are some basic fundamentals to the rule that don’t change, and require immediate reaction when the goods hit the floor. After much pain and suffering, mostly on your part for having to read this, I present the “The Five W’s in Five Seconds” ….
Who else has their beads on it ? Remember this is a competition, not an exhibition. No points for style, just get after it. Of course, always process all five W’s before you leap.
Where is the drop point ? Is it your kitchen floor, at a restaurant, at a wedding reception ? This is obviously important information to gauge the level of embarrassment if spotted in the act. Or worse, making a complete fool of yourself in public nose diving for runaway Marciano cherry.
What is it and will it roll ? While bouncing can lead to quick recovery, rolling can often lead to disaster. See Why
Why is it always the last one ? No time to think of this, but it inevitably crosses your mind … especially if it just rolled under the refrigerator.
When it’s time to concede a loss ? If there are any injuries, most importantly yours, then its time to let this one go. Wallow shortly in your defeat, and settle on something else to satisfy your hunger. Hopefully on reflection, your disgrace and humiliation will benefit you in future recoveries.