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Why You Shouldn’t Worry About The Five-Second Rule

The debate over whether or not it’s okay to eat food that drops on the floor will likely go on for years, and while scientists have debunked the five-second rule, you know the one that says it’s okay to eat something that only touched the floor for five seconds, one doctor doesn’t understand why everyone is making such a fuss.

In an article for the “New York Times,” Dr. Aaron E. Carroll says he eats food that’s dropped on the floor and argues that people shouldn’t be so worried about how much bacteria is on the floor, because there are so many other household surfaces that probably contain even more bacteria. He points to a 1998 study that found that while there’s plenty of coliform bacteria on the floor, there’s almost twice as much on a kitchen handle and even more on a kitchen counter, and come on, who doesn’t put their food on the counter and then eat it.

And there are plenty of other things that aren’t that clean that we all handle every day, like our smartphones and our money in our wallet, and how many people pay for food with cash and then use the same hands we used to touch that money to eat that food.

The bottom line, Carroll says is that we all really need to wash our hands a lot, and realize that our immune systems are “pretty hardy.” He adds that some arbitrary amount of time isn’t going to be the deciding factor on whether or not something is clean enough to eat. So go ahead and pick up that cookie from the floor, it’s fine.

Source: New York Times

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