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Scientists Confirm The 5 Second Rule Isn't Real

We've all been there — you're either preparing a meal, about to eat one, or even in the middle of eating — and you suddenly drop some food on the floor. You quickly grab it and eat it while thinking, "It's no big deal, the second rule stands!" Yet, while that old beliefe is repeated over and over, it turns out that that isn't necessarily true.

As it was recently revealed by Men's Health, the so-called five-second rule is actually fictitious. Multiple peer-reviewed studies have been conducted to find out the truth- the earliest took place in 2006, while the most recent study was ten years after that. The conclusion was that a piece of food that's been on the floor for just five seconds or less has already transferred a significant amount of bacteria onto it.

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via Rutgers

There are many arguments and theories as to just how the five-second rule came to be a thing. The most popular one comes from the days of Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan, who was said to have something similar called the "Khan Rule". The Khan Rule supposedly meant that the conqueror would allow food to fall on the floor, and then simply stay there. Any fallen food would stay in its place anywhere from a few hours to several days on end. Khan's reasoning behind this was that any food prepared for his consumption would be good enough for another person to eat — even if it had previously collected dust on the ground.

It's easy to drop a piece of food on the floor, quickly pick it up, and eat it without a second thought. But those few seconds make all the difference in bacteria transferring onto your food. Toss in the fact that some people will call this the 10-second rule or even the 15-second rule, and you may end up consuming more bacteria than you may think. Other factors such as the kind of food dropped and what kind of surface it was dropped on — not to mention how clean or dirty said surface is or looks at first glance. It's just best to toss out any food dropped on the floor — no matter how long it's been sitting there. It may seem like a waste, but at least you won't consume any bacteria, too.

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