You know that ‘5-second rule’ that people use as an excuse to eat the food they dropped on the ground? Well, it’s sort of a fallacy, says YouTube science channel Vsauce. The fact is that bacteria like salmonella immediately gets onto your food, so it doesn’t matter if your garlic knot has been on the ground for 1, 5, or 10 seconds. It’s been compromised, player—let it go.
Vsauce cites three sources in the vid (and links all the sources mentioned on the video page): a 2003 study by Jillian Clarke, a Mythbusters investigation, and The Journal of Applied Microbiology. The latter details a study in which researchers brushed salmonella on different floor surfaces. They found that food “acquired anywhere from 150 to 8,000 bacteria… Now, considering that it only takes 10 bacteria of certain strains of salmonella to infect you, you should probably think twice before eating off the ground.”
Vsauce doesn’t recommend employing the 5-second rule, but the host also points out that bacteria are everywhere. “There are more bacteria on your body right now than people living in America,” he says. The good thing is that our immune systems are, more or less, “amazing.”
[via The Atlantic]