Eating Food Off The Floor Isn't Safe No Matter What

Posted: Sep 11 2016, 4:52pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Eating Food off the Floor isn't Safe No Matter What
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  • Researchers debunk 'five-second rule'
  • Eating Stuff that has Fallen on the Floor isn’t Safe No Matter What

Apparently the 5 second rule is bunk. Eating stuff that has fallen on the floor isn’t safe no matter what.

Bacteria and germs may get transferred onto candy or ice cream that has fallen on the floor. Picking it up is a bad idea. Even picking it up as fast as possible is a pretty bad choice.

The notion before this was that if you managed to pick up the food within the time limit of 5 seconds, it was safe and not contaminated. Yet such has turned out to be nothing but wishful thinking.  

Moisture, texture of the surface and contact time lapse all contributed to contamination. In some cases the contamination began in less than a single second. So picking something up from the ground to eat is just not a very good idea.

The study appear online in the American Society for Microbiology's journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

The five second rule had it that bacteria needed some time to hitchhike onto the food. Yet this is a myth and the earlier it is exploded and debunked the better for humanity. The researchers decided to delve into the question since it was such a pervasive part of popular science.  

The decisions regarding picking up food from the ground ought to be based on real science instead of pseudoscience. Four textured surfaces were employed in the experiment.

They comprised stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet. Also four different foods were used. These were watermelon, bread, bread and butter sandwich and finally gummy candy.

Four contact timings were explored: a millisecond, five seconds, 30 seconds and 300 seconds. Two mediums were used to grow a bacteria that causes food poisoning in the human GIT. These were tryptic soy broth and peptone buffer. 

Transfer scenes were re-enacted for every one of the surfaces, foods, contact times and bacterial preparations. There were all in all some 128 scenarios.

Analysis for contamination took place later on. Watermelon had the most chances of contamination and gummy candy had the least. Moisture was most responsible for transfer of bacteria.

While bacteria do not have moving parts, they find a way into the food via moisture. The longer the time period, the greater the chances of contamination.

Carpet had low chances of transfer. Tiles and stainless steel were more likely to transfer bacteria. The nature of the food and the surface it comes into contact with are the chief components that affect the outcomes of this study.

Therefore the 5 second rule is just that…a five second blip on the screen of consciousness. In reality, bacteria infect the food within the instant of contact.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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