5-Second Rule is Just "Folklore"

5-Second Rule is Just "Folklore"

How many times have you dropped food on the floor or spilled part of dinner on the table, quickly picked it up and eaten it anyway after telling yourself nothing is going to pick up germs in five seconds?

You might want to seriously rethink the five-second rule, a Loyola University doctor advises.

A dropped item becomes contaminated right away and you can’t sanitize it, says Dr. Jorge Parada, medical director of the infection prevention and control program at Loyola University Health System.

Instead of thinking five seconds is OK, he advises in a Loyola news release, it would be better to think, “When in doubt, throw it out.”

How about rinsing off the food that falls? Wouldn’t that help?

Parada said that will reduce a lot of the contamination, but there will still be some bacteria left that could pose some health risks

He also said there are degrees of risk: Eating a potato chip after it was on a clean table for a second is a low risk because it didn’t have much time to become contaminated, but eating food that’s fallen on the floor and stayed there a minute is a higher risk, he said.


News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

rsp wrote on August 01, 2012 at 3:08 pm

A woman I used to babysit for always said everybody needs a little dirt. If you didn't eat a little dirt you weren't healthy.