The Five Second Rule - Why There May Be Some Truth In It

Next time you drop a piece of chocolate on the floor, just pick it up and keep on eating - as if nothing ever happened.

If anyone dares to question your antics, feel free to quote The Five Second Rule - which we're proud to announce has now been proven by science.

Yes there may be some truth in the urban legend, that food picked up within five seconds after being dropped on the floor is safe to eat.

Quick, pick it up!

To check the authenticity of this claim, researchers measured the transfer of common bacteria, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, to foods (including pasta and a sticky sweet) that had been dropped on different types of flooring (including carpet and laminate flooring).

The researchers varied contact time between 3 and 30 seconds, finding that a positive correlation between the length of time the food spent on the floor and the amount of bacteria.

"We have found evidence that transfer from indoor flooring surfaces is incredibly poor with carpet actually posing the lowest risk of bacterial transfer onto dropped food."