Five-second rule is baloney

By Peter Kent

5-second ruleSad to say, the five-second rule is baloney. Recent research shows that no atter how fast you or your children pick up food that has dropped on the floor it still collects bacteria that can cause illness.

Food scientist Paul Dawson and students in the creative inquiry program tested the five-second rule by applying salmonella bacteria to tile, wood flooring and nylon carpet, and measuring the results.

Slices of bologna and bread left for five seconds absorbed 150 to 8,000 bacteria from surfaces that had been contaminated eight hours earlier. Left for a full minute, the slices collected about 10 times more bacteria from the tile and carpet; a lower number from the wood.

As few as 10 salmonella bacteria can cause illness, and fewer than 100 of some strains of E. coli can be deadly, for youngsters, the elderly and the ill. The better rule may be: When in doubt, throw it out.




For information: Paul Dawson, 864-656-1138, pdawson@clemson.edu