Has your child ever quoted the ‘5 second rule’ at you, after dropping food on the floor? According to the rule, as long as you pick food up from the floor within 5 seconds, it won’t get contaminated and is safe to eat.
But although it might seem like a good way to not waste food, the 5 second rule can actually cause your child to eat bacteria and other nasties – causing illness, according to RMIT University.
1. Bacteria and micro organisms are everywhere
Just because we can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. And we don’t actually know where the nasty ones are. The general rule is, the dirtier the surface, the larger the number of bacteria. And what’s dirtier than the floor? OK, the toilet, but let’s not go there…
2. Bacteria transfer in an instant
Bacteria are incredibly good at attaching themselves to almost anything – especially moist bits of food. So if you drop a piece of food on the floor, it’ll be covered in bacteria in an instant. Think about how, if you drop a morsel of cake near an ants nest, it’s suddenly swarming with ants – then speed up that thought.
So, the best advice is to ignore the ‘5 second rule’ and never be tempted to eat food off the floor or any unclean surface.