Most of us are familiar with the 5-second rule, which states that if you drop your food on the ground, it is safe to eat it as long as you pick it up before five seconds is up. It’s unclear where this “rule” came from, but is there any truth to it?
Well, Molly Goettsche and Nicole Moin, two biology students from Connecticut College put this axiom to the test. In a series of experiments, they dropped everything from apple slices to Skittles on the floor and measured how long it took before dangerous bacteria made the food unsafe to eat. The result?
You can wait up to 30 seconds to pick up and eat “wet” foods and even longer for dry foods. And with Skittles? They can last up to five minutes until they show a bacterial presence.
Here’s a handy chart from the food bloggers at SFWeekly to provide you with guidance in this matter: