Is The Five-Second Rule Real?

is the five second rule real

Is the five-second rule real?

Whether you believe in it or not, there’s one fact we know for sure: germs and bacteria do not know how to count. Nor would they even if they learned basic math. Food that falls on the floor (or any surface for that matter) is considered ‘dirty’ when it touches those surfaces – unless you pick it up within five seconds.

But how accurate is this? Is the five-second rule real?

The Answer

Multiple experiments have already been done, such as this one reported in the New York Times, to prove or disprove this age-old myth that most of us are guilty of believing. Even our favorite guys at Mythbusters tried it out! And the general consensus is the same: time is largely irrelevant when it comes to food getting in contact with the floor.

And here’s why: floors are VERY DIRTY. Floors are a smorgasbord of fecal matter, dirt, dead skin cells, and a general layer of germs and bacteria from all the debris dragged in by shoes and different objects – all of which can potentially make you sick!

But not all floors are the same when it comes to how soon and how much surface bacteria can transfer onto food upon contact. Tiled, laminated and wood flooring have shown to transfer bacteria more quickly compared to carpeted floors.

Stay Dry

is the five-second rule real

Another variable that is largely responsible for bacterial transfer on floors is moisture. Moist areas, as we all know (and should know), are a favorite spot for bacteria to thrive, multiply, and breed, hence wet or moist floors are more likely to transfer bacteria more quickly than dry ones. Foods that are wet or sticky like ham or sliced fruit can also more easily catch germs than dry foods like cookies or a piece of toast.

That is why keeping your floors clean and sanitizing them is not the ultimate solution to floor cleanliness. Aside from investing in the right soaps and cleansers for your floor, invest in a good stock of mops! Make sure to keep a separate wet mop from the mop you use to dry your floors to avoid cross-contamination, and to make sure you always have a clean mop handy just for all the little spills.

So, is the five-second rule real? Definitely not! What we do know for sure is real is that there aren’t floors ever too dirty for a good set of mops or mats. Contact us at Northstar Mat Services today to get the best mops and mats for your floor type! Call us at 1-800-994-9797 today!