5 Second Rule
5 second rule

5 Second Rule

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Wellness, Nutrition

The 5-second rule is a myth – Nooo! 

Ignorance can be bliss and very unhealthy. Who would have thought the five-second rule was bogus? Well, most people, including scientists, researchers and doctors.  

A study from Rutgers University published on the Applied and Environmental Microbiology website in 2016 states it takes less than one second for contamination when food touches the floor. That is less time than it takes for dogs to pounce on an errant chicken nugget. 

The type of floor, food and the total time the food is in contact with the floor impacts how many germs are transferred, but the bottom line is once it hits the floor, it should be thrown away. Even if it is the last donut or cookie.  

In case you want to discredit this as a single study, try again. There are numerous studies all coming to the same conclusion, food on the floor is contaminated.  

Perhaps, you insist your floors are clean enough to eat off? Probably not. If you don’t believe us, read our blog, "Are your shoes your Achilles’ heel?" The blog shares the dangers of wearing your shoes inside. A study by a University of Arizona professor found that 96% of shoes contained coliforms, a bacteria found in human and animal waste. Plus, 90% to 99% of bacteria easily transfers from shoes to clean tile floors.  

So, that cookie that landed on your floor and you put in your mouth could have … some pretty nasty stuff on it.  

As sad as it may be at the moment, throwing away the cookie from the floor is better than getting sick.  


Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.