We all know what the five-second rule is: if you drop a piece of food and can manage to pick it up before five seconds elapses then you’re good to go, right?
Turns out that the rule isn’t just something we made up because we’re piggies who eat food off the floor, it’s actually (in most cases) true!
To show how it works, NASA engineer Mark Rober offers cookies to random people in the video below, but drops them on the ground before they can dig in. Some people, apparently unaware of the five-second rule, pass, but not everyone.
According to the video those who did grab the cookie quickly and ate it were probably going to be just fine because despite the fact that bacteria does jump on to your food when it hits the floor it’s really only when foods and surfaces are wet that there’s a real issue.
And get this, food dropped on to carpets and rugs are safer to eat than food dropped on to linoleum because the food generally touches less surface area.
“Moist foods left longer than 30 seconds collect 10 times the bacteria than those snapped up after only three,” tells the video’s narrator. “E-coli, salmonella and listeria love wet environments. They absorb water for the nutrients they need to grow and multiply.”
The key takeaway? “If you drop that cookie on dry ground, you should have plenty of time,” says the narrator. “The five-second rule is really the 30-second moisture and surface rule.”
H/T Huffington Post