This Doctor Still Eats Food He Drops on the Kitchen Floor. Here's Why.
The five-second rule debate concentrates on all the wrong things.
BY Sammy Nickalls | Oct 12, 2016 | Food & Drink
Last month, the CDC called bullshit on the five-second rule, saying that food picks up bacteria "instantaneously." However, the debate rages on, because one doctor is saying that we shouldn't be particularly concerned about the floor in the first place.
In an op-ed for The New York Times, Indiana University School of Medicine's professor of pediatrics, Aaron E Carroll, wrote about why he still eats food he drops on the kitchen floor:
"Our continued focus on this threat has long baffled me. Why are we so worried about the floor? So many other things are more dangerous than that... there's no magic period of time that prevents transmission. But even though I know bacteria can accumulate in less than five seconds, I will still eat food that has fallen on my kitchen floor."
Carroll added that our metric "shouldn't be whether there are more than zero bacteria on the floor," but rather "how many bacteria are on the floor compared with other household surfaces." Citing several studies to back his claims, Carroll pointed out that there are considerably dirtier places in the house than the floor—such as the refrigerator handle, the kitchen counter, and the sponge near the sink, to name a few. We can easily contaminate our food by touching these surfaces before eating, which is why we should always wash our hands before eating.
"People react to news like this in one of two ways," Carroll wrote. "One is to become paranoid about everything... the alternative is to realise that for most of us, our immune systems are pretty hardy. We've all been touching this dirty stuff for a long time, without knowing it, and doing just fine."
From: Esquire US