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chyna's avatar

What items should go by the 5 second rule?

Asked by chyna (46911points) June 23rd, 2020 from iPhone

I dropped an M&M. My favorite candy of which I don’t buy very often. Dropped on the floor of the hospital I work at. I picked it up, thought about it, blew it off, wiped it on my pants and ate it. I will now probably get COVID 19.
What items can be dropped and ate in 5 seconds without repercussions? Which items cannot?
Humor most welcome.

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24 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

Well, probably shouldn’t lick the wet stuff off the floor, unless of course, it’s alcoholic.

janbb's avatar

Ice cream cones on the beach? Only if you like sprinkles!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I, personally, think the 5 second rule is absurd. It’s not like germs are rushing over to what ever was dropped! They’re either right there already, where you dropped it, or they aren’t.
IMO, generally speaking, candies, with hard shells, are ok to pick up off the floor to eat, even after hours of lounging about on the floor. Soft foods, like mashed potatoes, are not, unless you’re literally starving to death. Then it would be OK.
I occasionally spill restaurant food on the table I’m eating at, like bits of salad, and I don’t hesitate to eat it anyway.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ll observe the 5 second rule if the item is dry and does not leave a mark on a piece of white printer paper. I will push it to 10 seconds if the item is particularly delicious or pricey.
An M&M is definitely in the 10 second zone.
A piece of bacon is a tough call. It is delicious, and pricey but since it leaves a mark it has to go.

Brian1946's avatar

If it bounces off the floor and into my mouth, then it’s too late to not eat the item anyway.

However, if an item tries to escape once it’s on the floor, then it becomes game for my feline roommate.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What slays me is the dogs can hear the faintest whisper of a molecule of bacon falling on the floor and they’re all over it!

ucme's avatar

Never suck on a yellow snowball.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III My kids ate food off a table in a restaurant when they were toddlers. They both ended up hospitalized with salmonella blood poisoning

I don’t think of things in terms of the five second rule as much as I think about where it is landing.

And I don’t care if the floor was just mopped, I would never eat anything off the floor of a hospital. @chyna COVID is probably the least of your worries!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Walnut in shell, also peanuts same condition.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@zenvelo It was probably what they ate that made them sick, not because they ate off of the table.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t use the 5 second rule, and now with covid I am even more neurotic about what I drop on the floor.

I dropped a vitamin D prescription strength pill on my kitchen floor two weeks ago. I washed it with soap hoping it would not fall apart before I felt it was clean enough, and then I popped it in my mouth. Luckily, it held together.

I have thrown a few things out that have dropped on the floor in the last few months. I could have tried to clean them also, but too overwhelming or just not worth it depending on the thing, so I just pitched them.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III It was because the table had been wiped down with a dirty towel. They were the only ones that got sick, nobody else eating the same foods go sick.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I got food poisoning in college, from a vending machine burrito.

josie's avatar

The virus that causes Covid does not survive on non epithelial surfaces.
So the issue becomes what items come in contact with dogshit or something that has E. coli or salmonella.
Not much in my house

SEKA's avatar

If it’s my last M&M, the 24 hour rule applies. I don’t believe in wasting even one M&M

JLeslie's avatar

@josie Covid does survive on hard surfaces. It survives well in the colder temperatures too. I do agree E. coli is probably a bigger concern, but would be such a minuscule amount. Actually, in a hospital it can be blood products, all sorts of yuck.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Yesterday I dropped my peanut butter sandwich butter side down. I ate it. Was ok.

JLeslie's avatar

The link isn’t working for me, but I remember a few weeks ago it was going around Facebook. I don’t believe it. Why would initial studies be wrong? I think maybe some doctors were concerned about OCD and anxiety, and the CDC worried businesses (as they were opening) couldn’t get cleaning fluids. I said to my husband at the time that I probably should sell my Clorox stock, but then I checked the CDC site and it says in the guidelines how to sanitize surfaces, and it just reinforced my thoughts.

Feels very similar to the mask thing to me. Don’t wear a mask, but masks block infected droplets from spreading to other people, and people can be infected and not know it. Don’t worry about surfaces but continue to wash your hands and don’t touch your face. Ok. Uh huh.

Edit: here is a mayo link.

canidmajor's avatar

Well, @chyna, at least this started out in the spirit you hoped!

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor What is your obsession? The Q is still on topic until your comment. The OP wants to know if people will eat an item that has been on the floor. She mentions COVID so we addressed it. It’s all on topic, or closely related. The Q is in social. I’m surprised you didn’t correct her grammar, ate instead of eaten. You’re slipping in your criticisms of people, or maybe you just want to pick on certain jellies?

canidmajor's avatar

Wow, @JLeslie, do get over yourself. @chyna had told me that this was meant as a lighthearted question, I was commenting on the serious turn it took. When I want to address particular posters, I do. Your comment addressed directly to me was more of an attack than the vague thing I said.
Don’t like it? Don’t read it.

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