Many believe the ‘5-second rule’ when it comes to using food that has spent less than 5 seconds on the floor. In some hospitals, a 3-second rule is invoked.
But really is it that simple? Is it the time or is it the floor?
Let’s consider what’s on the floor. You can already see there is no way to know what is on that floor. 10 cells of a virulent E. Coli bacteria can do damage. Floors are not sterile! We walk with shoes carrying God-knows-what, cough, shake our hands, heads and clothing over them. Biofilms, microscopic layers of bacteria, coat everything that is not sterile.
Want to gamble on the cleanliness of the exact area your food fell? Did a virus or bacteria lie there that could harm you? Eat up? PLEASE use common sense!
Next duration: is 4 seconds on the floor ok? Examine the fact that a second is simply the time saying ‘one-one thousand,’ so continue to 5-one thousand’ out loud – 5 seconds is not a flash!
Discussing uncooked food allows the opportunity to properly clean and cook away any possible contamination.
Sterile items, needles, IV bags and dressings I believe should not be risked. Going into someone’s blood vessel or dressing a wound, you don’t want to gamble that it is still sterile after 3 seconds on the floor.
Agree or Disagree? Comments welcome.