We’re all guilty of it – dropping food on the floor, looking around to see if anyone is watching, before picking it up and eating it like nothing happened.

Not only that, it seems a large majority of us exclaim, “FIVE-SECOND RULE” as we dive to the ground to quickly save our dropped goods – does 5 second rule really mean our food is still safe to eat? According to germ scientists, yes! It is!

Well, of course that depends on a couple of factors; what type of food it is, and what state the floor you’re dropping it on is in. Dropping a crisp on the kitchen tiles is pretty tame, but perhaps dropping your jam on toast face down on a hairy carpet is a little less appetising.


Professor Anthony Hilton from Aston University, has said;

“Obviously, food covered in visible dirt shouldn’t be eaten, but as long as it’s not obviously contaminated, the science shows that food is unlikely to have picked up harmful bacteria from a few seconds spent on an indoor floor. That is not to say that germs can’t transfer from the floor to the food. Our research has shown that the nature of the floor surface, the type of food dropped on the floor and the length of time it spends on the floor can all have an impact on the number that can transfer.”

So, eating food off the floor isn’t entirely risk free, but just having common sense and ensuring food isn’t obviously contaminated means it’s probably still safe to eat.

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