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?
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.
- E. Coli
- Food Poisoning
- Food Safety for Your Family
- Produce Precautions
- Germs: Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and Protozoa
- Hand Washing: Why It's So Important
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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