Do you remember the so-called “five-second rule”, an age-old belief that food is safe to eat if picked up from the floor in under five seconds.
UK researchers have carried a study related to the so-called rule and found that there is reality in this notion.
Researchers at Aston University in Birmingham say the rate of bacteria transfer in food items depends on the amount of duration it lies on the floor.
The researchers found that the amount of time an item spent on the floor was directly related to bacteria levels.
“Time is a significant factor in the transfer of bacteria from a floor surface to a piece of food,” one of the study researcher said.
The team analysed the findings with different types of food like toast, a cookie, sticky candy and pasta. The recorded the findings for different food items. They found that the moist, sticky foods were more likely to pick up bacteria when compared to the dry foods.
Moreover, the levels of bacteria transfer in food dropped on tile and laminate floor for five or more seconds, while still low, were higher than carpeting.
“We have found evidence that transfer from indoor flooring surfaces is incredibly poor,” said microbiology professor Anthony Hilton, who led the study, in a prepared statement, “with carpet actually posing the lowest risk of bacterial transfer onto dropped food.”
The research is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.