Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Mar 3, 2013 08:21 PM

Five second rule.

I confess that I have used this rule in my own kitchen.Only for myself.Have you ?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have a rule, but it is not "5 second". It has nothing to do with time. I will eat it if it falls on a relatively clean surface like counter top, but I don't eat it if it falls on the kitchen floor. My kitchen floor is really not clean. I will also more likely to eat it, if the food just fall straight and stay there. I will less likely to eat it, if it fall and roll around or smear around. Finally, I will more like to eat it if the food is dry (say a cookie), and less likely to eat it if it is wet (say soup noodle) because wet foods tend to pick up much more dirt.

    4 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Exactly. The idea that people should (or do) take "5 seconds" literally is ludicrous (although not any more ludicrous than other rules...).

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          To me it's a joke. You drop something, pick it up, and laugh and say '5 second rule'. It's not a real rule, rather a way to laugh at yourself for being a klutz in the first place and laugh off that you're willing to eat it anyway.

          Whether I'll eat something I drop isn't based on some non-rule, but based on what it is, whether it can be washed, will it be cooked, to whom I'm feeding it, etc. And most importantly, is it the last piece of chocolate.

      2. It was thoroughly debunked on both Mythbusters and Food Detectives.

        2 Replies
        1. re: acgold7

          I thought the 5 second rule was part of a comedy bit and had no real life connection.

          1. re: acgold7

            I have read a scientific debunking of the 5 second myth as well. If you grab something off the floor and eat it, then you must be aware that you are getting some uninvited bacteria and/or viruses. Or the dirt off of shoes.

            I am more likely to pop a dropped vitamin or med into my mouth after dropping than a piece of food. And if I am cooking for others, I throw the dropped thing away.

          2. I have NO problem eating stuff that falls on my (relatively clean) kitchen floor. I wouldn't serve it to company, but my family - definitely.

            1. My thing is, if I can rinse it, I'll use it. But not straight off the floor! If I can't rinse, trash

              1. I don't know... We have two cats who trot litter box germs all over the floor. Ever since I realized that they basically stand in their toilet, I've been less inclined to blow off the dirt and eat.