Those immortal words have been used for years to justify eating sweets from the Floor, toast, or even a joint of roast meat that slipped coming out of the oven.
Most of us saying the words don’t have any Food
hygiene facts to back it up, just a general feeling of optimism.
But now a scientist has gone ahead and confirmed what we always suspected.
Germ expert Professor Anthony Hilton, from Aston University, said that ‘food is unlikely to have picked up Harmful Bacteria
from a few seconds spent on an indoor floor.’
A good test is to see if it is ‘visibly contaminated’ with dirt. If so, don’t eat it, obviously.
He said: ‘Eating food that has spent a few moments on the floor can never be entirely risk-free.
‘Obviously, food covered in visible dirt shouldn’t be eaten, but as long as it’s not obviously contaminated, the science shows that food is unlikely to have picked up harmful bacteria from a few seconds spent on an indoor floor.’
He said that it does depend on the type of floor.
Prof Hilton will be demonstrating how the five-second rule works at The Big Bang Fair – a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people – which opens on Wednesday at the NEC in Birmingham.
He said that while germs can transfer from the floor to food, it’s not something we should be overly panicked about.
‘Our research has shown that the nature of the floor surface, the type of food dropped on the floor and the length of time it spends on the floor can all have an impact on the number that can transfer,’ he said.
It comes as a survey of 2,000 people found 79% admitted to eating food that had fallen on the floor.
Writer: Jen Mills for Metro.co.uk