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Thread: Dropped your toast? 5 second rule exists, new research suggests!

  1. Dropped your toast? 5 second rule exists, new research suggests!

    Food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time, according to the findings of research carried out at Aston University's School of Life and Health Sciences.

    The findings suggest there may be some scientific basis to the '5 second rule' -- the urban myth about it being fine to eat food that has only had contact with the floor for five seconds or less. Although people have long followed the 5 second rule, until now it was unclear whether it actually helped.

    The study, undertaken by final year Biology students and led by Anthony Hilton, Professor of Microbiology at Aston University, monitored the transfer of the common bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus from a variety of indoor floor types (carpet, laminate and tiled surfaces) to toast, pasta, biscuit and a sticky sweet when contact was made from 3 to 30 seconds.

    The results showed that:
    •Time is a significant factor in the transfer of bacteria from a floor surface to a piece of food; and
    •The type of flooring the food has been dropped on has an effect, with bacteria least likely to transfer from carpeted surfaces and most likely to transfer from laminate or tiled surfaces to moist foods making contact for more than 5 seconds.

    Professor Hilton said: "Consuming food dropped on the floor still carries an infection risk as it very much depends on which bacteria are present on the floor at the time; however the findings of this study will bring some light relief to those who have been employing the five-second rule for years, despite a general consensus that it is purely a myth. We have found evidence that transfer from indoor flooring surfaces is incredibly poor with carpet actually posing the lowest risk of bacterial transfer onto dropped food.

    The Aston team also carried out a survey of the number of people who employ the five-second rule. The survey showed that:
    •87% of people surveyed said they would eat food dropped on the floor, or already have done so
    •55% of those that would, or have, eaten food dropped in the floor are women
    •81% of the women who would eat food from the floor would follow the 5 second rule

    Professor Hilton added: "Our study showed surprisingly that a large majority of people are happy to consume dropped food, with women the most likely to do so. But they are also more likely to follow the 5 second rule, which our research has shown to be much more than an old wives tale."
    This reiterates what "I" have always believed! J

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  3. #2

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    Re: Dropped your toast? 5 second rule exists, new research suggests!

    In order to remain healthy you need to consume a few germs so that your immune system knows how to fight them :-) At least, that's my philosophy.

    Elda

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    Re: Dropped your toast? 5 second rule exists, new research suggests!

    Couldn't agree with you more Elda.. Kids now-a-days are kept too sterile. The reason i think there are so many illnesses around that didn't seem to be around when we were kids.
    Euan..

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  7. Re: Dropped your toast? 5 second rule exists, new research suggests!

    Hey, all, there's also been said by many docs and/or science folks, that children should be allowed to have cats & dogs, as with early exposure, their bodies can build up better resistances. Now, I mainly agree with you guys about germs. However, I've not lately heard of any kids getting "scarlet fever" which I did hear of as a child. Also, unless moms are one card less than a deck, their kids do not get polio. When I was in the 7th or 8th grade, polio shots were just starting to be given, & I was delegated to take classes of little kids down to the school basement, line them up, & roll up their sleeves, to get the very first polio injections. I got one, but later as a young teen, I also got the Sabin polio given on a sugar cube. Of course, later on, when we were going to England, I got a really massive group of injections, even a 2nd smallpox vaccination. The only one I appeared to have a prob with was the tetanus. I can remember dancing with a fever after that one! We've made a lot of medical strides since I was a child. J

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    Re: Dropped your toast? 5 second rule exists, new research suggests!

    I think there are a number of things which have contributed to the demise of a number of common illnesses from when I was a kid. There is better nutrition, antibiotics, a universal health system (in the UK & Australia anyway) which meant that people could afford to see a doctor. I've never forgotten that when I first started school there was a wee girl in my class called Isabel who died of scarlet fever. I remember the teacher putting a little vase of flowers on her desk. Funny the things which stay in your mind. I think it was probably the first time in my life I'd known someone who died.

    Of course, immunisation took care of a number of them like polio, smallpox even whooping cough which I had as a toddler and was very ill. Measles is another one which they are trying to eradicate.

    However, in Australia there has risen a group of people who are against immunisation which has caused some illnesses to start to spread again, according to some reports. I, for one, am in agreement with those who want to ban unimmunised children from pre-schools and schools.

    Elda

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