Everyone has dropped some food on the floor and still wanted to eat it.

You may want to think twice about eating that candy you dropped on the floor. No matter how fast you pick up fallen food, you’ll pick up bacteria with it, says a new study challenging the “five-second rule.”

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey tested how watermelon, buttered and unbuttered bread, and gummy candy fared after being dropped on bacteria-filled stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood, or carpet. They found that whether the food touched the surface for less than a second or for 300 seconds, all were contaminated with the bacteria.

The longer the foods stayed on the germy surface, the more germs they picked up, so 5 seconds is better than 10—if not exactly safe. “The popular notion of the ‘five-second rule’ is that food dropped on the floor but picked up quickly is safe to eat because bacteria need time to transfer,” says microbiologist Donald Schaffner, who led the study. “But bacteria can contaminate instantaneously.”



  1. Heather 3 weeks ago

    Dear Rosa,
    I am interested in your post because I’ve always hated people doing the 5 second rule. Its just very unsanitary.
    One thing you said that stands out for me is: “You may want to think twice about eating that candy you dropped on the floor” I think this is interesting because you chose to focus on Candy.
    Your post reminds me of something that happened to me. One time this little girl drop her lollipop on the floor and she picked it back up. Her mom told her to not do it because the floor is dirty. The little girl procced to wipe the lollipop on her brother’s shirt.
    Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because this topic was very intriguing to me. Hopefully you can make more research on this topic.

  2. Amra 3 weeks ago

    I see where your going but can you fix’s the typing because on the right side the words are covered.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


We welcome new members. You can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Missions on Youth Voices

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account