What do these numbers tell us about the five-second rule? Quick retrieval does mean fewer bacteria, but it’s no guarantee of safety. True, Jillian Clarke found that the number of bacteria on the floor at the University of Illinois was so low it couldn’t be measured, and the Clemson researchers resorted to extremely high contamination levels for their tests. But even if a floor — or a countertop, or wrapper — carried only a thousandth the number of bacteria applied by the researchers, the piece of food would be likely to pick up several bacteria.
The infectious dose, the smallest number of bacteria that can actually cause illness, is as few as 10 for some salmonellas, fewer than 100 for the deadly strain of E. coli.
They have omitted what I consider to be an essential step – blowing the cooties off the food.
My daughter’s Mother’s Day card said: Mom, remember how you could eat off your kitchen floor?
Inside: Mine has so many crumbs, you could eat off it too.