Many parents know her as the 5-second rule. Suddenly, the sandwich your child is eating falls to the ground and they pick it up quickly, while they count to themselves: 'one, two, three ... That's it, I blow a little, and that's it'. So they convince themselves that if not five seconds pass, the food will not have yet 'caught' harmful bacteria for their child.
Although popular belief has been supported by many studies, new research tells us the following ...
Rutgers Scientists, a prestigious group that depends on the University of New Jersey (USA), They set out to dismantle this theory, so famous and popular with parents. To do this, they rebuilt contaminated spaces, made of different materials, trying to recreate the places where food may fall due to our son's (or our) carelessness: stainless steel, wood, ceramic tile and carpet.
The next step was smear with the same bacteria (they used salmonella) all these spaces, and dropping foods of different kinds: bread, watermelon, dried gummies and bread and butter, keeping in mind that in 99% of cases, it will fall on the butter side.
The researchers left the food in each of the contaminated places for different periods of time: for 1 second, for 5 seconds, for 30 seconds and more than 300 seconds. The results?:
- The most polluting surface: What do you think was the most polluting surface? The carpet? Error! We all tend to think of a carpet as a 'nest of bacteria'. But in this case, the foods that became contaminated most quickly were those that fell on the ceramic and stainless steel surfaces.
- The types of food that get contaminated before: Another test .. what food do you think was contaminated before? The jelly beans? The butter? It was actually the watermelon. Wet food, in short. And, surprise, the most bacteria-resistant food was jelly beans.
- The time it takes for a food to become infected with bacteria: The food caught on within five seconds. In some cases, a second was enough, as in the case of watermelon (or any wet food).
Conclution: in your hands it is. You may be lucky and that the bacteria that your child puts in his mouth after blowing on the piece of sandwich that fell to the ground are not salmonella or Escherichia coli. Nothing may happen to it because it fell on a wooden surface and the food was not wet enough. Or maybe yes. After all, it is a lottery.
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