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The 5-Second Rule.

You’ve heard of the 5-second rule: anything that drops on the floor and is picked up within five seconds is still safe to eat. Students at Connecticut College ran an experiment to test contamination of foods dropped on the cafeteria floor.
The results: No bacteria were found on any food left on the floor for up to half a minute. Apple slices and Skittles both got germy after a minute (although one Skittle took five minutes).
That doesn’t mean I would recommend eating off the floor, no matter how fast you are. http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=124914&ran=137637 -via J-Walk Blog

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When I worked at a country club as a chef and a trainee asked if we had a "5 second rule", I said "what is that?" He said, "you know, if you pick it up within 5 seconds you can still serve it." I told him, "no, we have a 'footprint rule', if you can't see footprints on it, go ahead and serve it."
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