If you pick up food that falls on the floor within five seconds, you’ll be able to eat it because it’s not yet contaminated with bacteria, but that’s not always the case, experts say.
Two Dutch microbiologists suggest taking a number of factors into consideration, such as the type of soil, its cleanliness, and the type of food, according to what the 7Sur7 website reported on Saturday, citing the “Het Laatste Nieuws” website.
Bacteria cannot fly, walk or jump, but move using air and water currents, explains Jerike van Middendorp, a food microbiologist at Wageningen University.
Based on this hypothesis, if wet food is dropped, bacteria on the floor are quite capable of moving there more easily, according to the microbiologist’s observations.
“A piece of watermelon will pick up a lot of bacteria within a tenth of a second. On the other hand, if you drop a sandwich, only a small fraction of bacteria will be transferred at the same time.
Researchers at Rutgers University placed food on different types of soil for one second and five minutes as part of an experiment to examine how many bacteria it contained.
They noticed that what is spilled on the floor is more important than how long it stays there, and from here they concluded that the five-second rule does not apply to wet food.
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