Most people like to think that germs wait five minutes to infect food but this is just a consolation to make them feel better about picking food off the floor. Some even go as far as saying the food tastes better after ts touched the ground. See what scientists have to say about the five minute rule.
Study results has shown scientists adhering to a zero-second rule (or no-tolerance policy) where there is no safe window to consume food after it has fallen on the ground. Researchers found out that salmonella and other bacteria can live for up to four weeks on dry surfaces and can be transferred to food as soon as it touches the floor, which means that germs may be lurking for a month just waiting for your food to drop.
In recent times, more recent studies has shown that food picked up quickly is less likely to contain bacteria than food left on the floor for longer periods of time. In addition to this, the study found out that bacteria are more likely to transfer from laminate or tiled surfaces than from a carpeted floor.
Even more shocking ls the evidence that certain foods are less likely to collect bacteria in five seconds than others; dry foods like cookies and chips don't settle or stick to surfaces the same way that cooked pasta and sticky candy do. So, given these findings, if you have a handful of crackers that hit the floor when you're sitting on the couch, you're safer eating those than pancakes or noodles that ended up on your kitchen floor.
For those that have been sticking to the 5 minute rule, you may not have been wrong after all. Just be sure to apply this rule to dried foods alone.