If you’ve ever dropped food and then used the five second rule to justify eating it afterwards, there’s science out there backing up your belief that if it spent little to no time on the floor, it has less germs.
The study, led by Anthony Hilton, Professor of Microbiology at Aston University in Birmingham, England tested the transfer of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria onto foods from different surfaces left there from 3 to 30 seconds.
They found that time and surface do make a difference. For example, a slice of ham on a carpeted floor for five seconds picks up less bacteria than it would on a laminate floor.
There’s more to the results of course and I’d say it’s always better to use your best judgement, but I’m sure some of you are feeling pretty smart right about now.