Food Tip When you drop food on the floor, forget the five-second rule and throw it out. Food gets contaminated with germs immediately on contact.

The brownie you’ve been looking forward to all day falls out of its package and onto the floor. Do you employ the five-second rule and eat it anyway or grumble in disgust and throw it away? As tempting as it can be to dust off your food and eat it, you should know that the five-second rule is more folklore than fact. Food becomes contaminated with germs the moment it touches a dirty surface. There is no grace period that keeps germs from clinging to it. Likewise, dropping your grandchild’s pacifier and then sticking it in your mouth to clean it off simply transfers germs to you and the child, say researchers at Loyola. Forget the five-second rule and stick with this one instead: When in doubt, throw it out.


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