Almost everyone has dropped some food on the floor and still wanted to eat it. If someone saw you drop it, he or she might have yelled, "5-second rule!" This so-called rule says food is OK to eat if you pick it up in 5 seconds or less.
Believe it or not, scientists have tested the rule. We're sorry to report it's not necessarily true. Bacteria can attach itself to your food even if you pick it up super-fast. But will your dropped food contain enough bacteria to make you sick? It's possible — and that's why you shouldn't eat food that has hit the floor.
Here's what you need to know about the 5-second rule:
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: January 2014
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