The '5-Second Rule' For Eating Food Off The Floor Isn't True, According To Science

September 27, 2016 by Sara Alderman
shefinds | Style

A new study by Rutgers University reveals that the five-second rule isn’t true. So you might want to rethink eating off the floor next time you drop your food…

According to the findings, food contracts bacteria as soon as it touches the ground–it doesn’t matter how swift you are scooping up that piece of chocolate. However, the type of food and surface, as well as time spent on the floor, make a difference in how much bacteria is contracted.

The study looks at four different types of food (watermelon, bread, bread with butter and gummy candy) dropped on four different types of floors (stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet) to see which combination produced the most and least amount of bacteria. The food was also left on the floor for four different amounts of time: less than one second, five seconds, 30 seconds and 300 seconds.

Unsurprisingly, watermelon acquired the most amount of bacteria because it’s made up of a ton of liquid that absorbs real quick. The second worst was bread with butter, followed by bread and then gummy candy. Now the surprising part is that carpet was the surface that transferred the lowest amount of bacteria. Stainless steel and ceramic tile equally transferred a lot, while wood varied depending on the quality.

So, basically, don’t eat off your floor. Ever.

Don’t forget to check out: why you should make your bed every morning and what it means if you have resting b*tch face

[Photo: Shutterstock]



Food, News


Sara Alderman has covered topics from fashion to beauty and beyond.

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...


This Is The Comfy, Flattering Skirt *Every* Woman Should Own For Fall

I never thought I needed a skirt made from what ...


Score This Seriously Soft Topshop Sweater While It's On Sale For 50% Off

Celebrate the arrival of sweater weather by making your way ...


We Found The Best Faux Leather Leggings Just In Time For Fall And Winter

I don't know about you, but faux leather leggings ...


The Perfect Black Dress Just Went On Sale For $35 At Nordstrom

Drop what you're doing and get over to ...


Every Woman Should Own This Super Flattering $13 Tee

I can never pass up a sale. If something is ...


Filosofia's Cozy (Sustainable!) Sweaters Are The Only Thing I Want To Wear This Fall

If you read SheFinds with any regularity, then you know ...


Vincero's Beautiful Watches Aren't Just Insta-Worthy--They're All Under $150, Too!

When most people think of a watch beautiful enough to ...


These Are The 10 Best Plus-Size Pieces For Fall

One of the many reasons why I love ...


It's *Finally* Sweater Weather And These Are The 8 We're Going To Wear On Repeat

Now that what seemed like a never-ending summer is ...


The 5 Closet-Essentials You *Need* For Fat Days

Are you a pear, hourglass, rectangle, apple or full figure ...


Psst! The Perfect Satin Camisole Is On Sale For Just $20 Right Now

If you don't have a black satin camisole in ...


This Just Might Be The Most Flattering T-Shirt... Ever!

Even though I already own a lot of really great ...