The Conversation Sep 12, 2019 13:14:19 IST
When you drop a piece of food on the floor, it's really OK to eat if you pick up within five seconds? This food is just a few seconds on the floor, dirt and germs.
While the "five-second rule" might not seem like the most pressing issue for "Research in my lab has become concerned with how food and food contact surfaces become contaminated."
So is the seconds on the floor the critical threshold that separate from edible morsel from a case of food poisoning? It's a bit more than that.
Where did the five-second rule come from?
Wondering if food is still OK to eat after it's been dropped on the floor is a pretty common experience. And it's probably not a new one either.
A well-known, but inaccurate, story about Julia Child may have contributed to this food myth. Some viewers of her cooking show, The French Chef, insist they saw Child drop lamb on the floor and picking it up, with the advice that they were alone in the kitchen, their guests would never know.
In fact it was a potato pancake, and it fell on the stovetop, not on the floor. saying "But you always pick it up and you're alone in the kitchen, who's going to see you?" But the misremembered story persists. 
It's harder to pin down the origins of the often-quoted five-second Rule, but a 2003 study reported that 70 percent of women and 56 percent of those surveyed were familiar with the five-second rule and that women were more likely to be on the floor.
The earliest research report on the five-second rule is attributed to Jillian Clarke a high school student participating in a research apprenticeship at the University of Ill inois. Clarke and her colleague colleagues inoculated floor tiles with bacteria on a white background.
In the year 2007, my lab at Clemson University published – the only peer-reviewed journal paper on this topic – in the Journal of Applied Microbiology .
To find out, inoculated squares of tile, carpet or wood with Salmonella. Five minutes after that, we placed either bologna or bread on the surface for five, 30 or 60 seconds, and then the amount of bacteria transferred to the food.
We found the exact amount of bacteria to be released on the surface of the cell for two, four, eight and 24 hours in contact with the contaminated surface – for a few seconds or for a whole minute. The total amount of bacteria on the surface has decreased, and this has decreased over time after initial inoculation. An ice cream cone sputters on the road. ” width=”1280″ height=”720″/>