Truth about the 'five-second rule' revealed

Whether it’s said as you scoop up that bit of doughnut that's fallen off your desk at work or an excuse not to throw away a biscuit semi-crushed into your bedroom floor, we all know the wonders of the ‘five-second rule’.

The truth about the 'five-second rule'

The truth about the 'five-second rule'

For years, chocolates and pieces of toast have been spared from the bin thanks to this seemingly arbitrary time limit.

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But according to food hygiene experts, this might not be as arbitrary as we might think.

A germ expert from Aston University, Professor Anthony Hilton, told the Metro that “food is unlikely to have picked up harmful bacteria from a few seconds spent on an indoor floor”.

Source: Giphy

Music to our ears, no?

Though instead of eating absolutely anything as long as it’s spent under five seconds touching the floor or despairingly chucking anything that remains on the ground beyond this mark, Hilton instead recommends doing a simple observation test.

He says that it’s best to check if it’s “visibly contaminated” with dirt, and avoid eating it if that’s the case.

Checking to see if there's any 'visible contamination' is how we approach floor food eating, says an expert. Photo: Getty images

“Eating food that has spent a few moments on the floor can never be entirely risk-free,” he explained.

“Obviously, food covered in visible dirt shouldn’t be eaten, but as long as it’s not obviously contaminated, the science shows that food is unlikely to have picked up harmful bacteria from a few seconds spent on an indoor floor.”

Sounds like pretty good common sense. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have some floor toast to eat.

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