Microbiome Awareness Month! The 5-Second Rule?

During this month of frantic, frenzied days, as you are running out the door, noshing on something, what if your snack falls on the floor?  

You’ve probably come across the “Five-Second Rule,” a kind of working hypothesis that supposedly tells you whether it’s safe to eat an item of food you’ve dropped on the floor.  This rule was the subject of a rigorous study conducted by Rutgers University in New Jersey, published in the American Society for Microbiology journal.

The Rutgers researchers meticulously dropped watermelon, bread (buttered and unbuttered), and gummy candy, from a height of 5 inches onto four different surfaces that had been disinfected, inoculated with Enterobacter aerogenes, then allowed to dry.

Watermelon picked up the most contaminating bacteria, while the gummy candy acquired the least.

So, while this month is a busy one, remember that foregoing the 5-second rule and taking time to find something less bacteria-laden to eat may be the best time-saver for your health in the long run.

For more information on microbes and the five-second rule, read our classic blog post.


If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.