The Five Second Rule: True Or False?

A 2007 study conducted at Clemson University found that the five second rule, although dear to all of our hearts, is simply not true.

This study proved that food that lands on the floor or tabletop picks up germs even if it is retrieved in under five seconds. Viruses and bacteria grab on the minute they make contact. They do not wait around for five seconds before hopping aboard.

DRAT! And the longer that cookie or cracker sits there, the more bacteria will grow on it. Microbes, as we know, are invisible to the naked eye. So even though your floor may look pristine, it can be teeming with e.coli and other foul, icky stuff that has been tracked in from our shoes or fallen from above.

Some of them will do us no harm but others can make us (and our children) quite sick. So, unless you are willing to risk serious illness from some nasty virus or bacteria, you’re just going to have to toss it. You might decide to ignore this bit of information, but if worse comes to worse, you can’t say we didn’t tell you!

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.


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The Mama ButtonThe information provided by MamasOnCall is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, but is for information purposes only. You assume full responsibility for the health and well-being of your family. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychiatric condition.