Is It Safe to Eat Food That's Dropped to the Floor?
Whenever my son drops food on the floor, he wants to eat it. He tries to use
the "5-second rule," saying food is safe to eat if it's picked up 5 seconds or
less after it hits the floor. Is that true? – Roslyn
No, it's never a good idea to eat food that has been dropped. The 5-second rule
is just wishful thinking — bacteria
can attach to food as soon as it hits the floor. And foods with wet surfaces, like
an apple slice, pick up bacteria even more easily than things like a cookie.
Even food that's picked up quickly can be contaminated. Visibly dirty floors are
obvious hazards, but those that look clean can harbor bacteria too. Some germs can
survive on floors for a long time, and of course it's impossible to see them.
So what are you to do with that delicious piece of whatever that just slipped from
your grasp? The safest choice is to throw it out.