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The Science of the Five Second Rule: Which Foods Last Longest On The Floor?

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May 28, 2013

We all know about the Five Second Rule, and for many of us, it's more like the Five Minute Rule. Or the Fine If Nobody's Looking Rule.

Montana radio producer Ruth Eddy interviewed a microbiologist, among others, to learn more about the science of the five second rule. Included in her findings:

- When you touch the floor, you're probably touching about 100,000 bacteria.

- Nothing's ever going to grow on a potato chip, cracker, or similarly dry food. (I take this to mean you can eat potato chips off the floor no matter how long they've been there.)

- Moist foods? "Forget it." Bacteria sticks to wet foods, like bananas.

- Bottom line, from a microbiologist: "Bacteria is everywhere. So don't worry about it. Eat, wash your hands, and be happy."

Listen to Ruth's entire piece above.

Photo: Flickr CC / kaibara87

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