The five-second rule

Dear Reid,

I need your help to settle an argument between my boyfriend and I. You see, he claims that food is still edibile within ten seconds of being dropped on the ground. Bacteria and germs, he says, can’t move that quickly, so it’s perfectly safe to eat, say, a potato chip if you are able to rescue it within ten seconds of ground contact. I, however, think that is disgusting.

Everyone knows that the rule is five seconds! That’s why they call it the five-second rule! Imagine all the bacteria and germs and other creepy crawly things that can climb onto a potato chip in ten seconds—you can’t! It’s unimaginable! Five seconds is a totally different story. Am I right?

Prissy about Pringles

I know how you feel. Unfortunately, though, there is no hard-and-fast rule about how long it takes for a potato chip to gather creepy crawly things when dropped on the ground. In fact, it’s more about the condition of the ground on which is dropped. Observe:

Enough said?


One Response to “The five-second rule”

  1. Aurora Says:

    It depends on the cleanliness of the surface that you’re dropping food on. Clean surfaces can sometimes merit a ten second time limit, dirtier surfaces need five seconds.

    However, it’s safe to say that if you drop something and pick it up with a few extra toppings, even though there’s nothing sticky on the food originally, you shouldn’t eat it. Like in that NASTY video. Ew.

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