You can ditch the five second rule provided you're eating one of these foods.
And past research from Rutgers University seemed to effectively put the long-standing myth to rest by concluding that the transfer of bacteria from floor to food could be nearly instantaneous.
However, a new study from Aston University in Birmingham, England, shows that some foods can actually last for 30 minutes on the floor before bacteria starts to form.
Now, I’m not saying you should grind all your food into the floor and then eat it, but if you drop a hard, dry food, such as a cookie, biscuit, dry toast, or sandwich, on the floor and pick it up within a half hour, you’re in the clear.
Anthony Hilton, the lead researcher on the project, told The Daily Mail that the chances of becoming sick from eating a piece of food off the ground are low, but that food dropped on laminate or tile floors picked up bacteria more quickly than food dropped onto carpet.
The rule also doesn’t apply to “damp” or “sticky” foods, such as cooked pasta or gummy candy, which aligns with the results of past research. The latest study found that those kinds of foods started picking up bacteria after five seconds, so your best bet in that case is toss anything you drop on the floor.
Mostly, it comes down to preference. If the idea of eating food that’s been on the floor grosses you out, feel free to toss. But if it doesn’t faze you? Do you.