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The Science Behind: The 5 Second Rule

Cover page- Sara Chaudhari

Have you ever heard of the 5-second rule? The 5-second rule states that you can eat food from the floor if it's been picked up within 5 seconds. And it would be safe to eat without rewashing it. Now, some people follow that rule, while others don't. But, the real question is: Should we follow that rule?

Many people have conducted research on the 5-second rule. Some have positive results and some have negative results. Suppose you accidentally drop your cookie on the ground. You quickly pick it up, wipe it on your shirt, and eat it and state that since it has not been on the ground for more than 5 seconds it is safe to eat it. You think the food is clean, but your eyes aren't strong enough to see the tiny bacteria on the food. Maybe that food is actually clean, or maybe it's not. The best option would be to just leave it alone and find something else to eat. Research has shown that wet food picks up bacteria faster than dry food so even if you are going to eat food from the floor make sure it's not wet food like watermelons. This has more chances of making you sick.

It is definitely better to not eat the food from the ground no matter how long it has been there. Suppose you were driving a car, you decide to not wear a seat belt. You stop wearing the seat belt for many days and nothing happens. You go to work not wearing a seat belt and come back home safely. But, then one day a car comes crashing behind you and since you were not wearing a seat belt you get hurt because the seat belt was not there to protect you and keep you stable. The same thing goes for the 5-second rule. Why should you take risks? Just don't eat off the floor and keep yourself safe. Maybe bacteria doesn't transfer all of the time like a car doesn't come crashing into you every time. Even then, it is better to play safe because you never know what is coming towards you.

Until next time...







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