According to a Chicago Tribune article, Matta said,
I have two daughters and they taught me a three-second rule. I have three seconds to pick it up off the floor and it’s still OK. I picked it up quick...
Not surprisingly, the incident found its way to YouTube.
With all this media attention, you might want to consider just how scientifically accurate is five- (or three-) second rule really is.
Jillian Clarke of Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences tested the theory in 2003. She performed tests by dropping Gummi Bears and fudge-striped cookies onto ceramic tiles. Some of those tiles had been treated with E. Coli (a bacteria present in our intestines, but when ingested in large quantities, can give us symptoms of food poisoning). She discovered the following: (as quoted in the Tribune)
- Seventy percent of women and 56 percent of men are familiar with the five-second rule, and most use it to make decisions about tasty treats that slip through their fingers.
- Women are more likely than men to eat food that has been on the floor.
- Cookies and candy are much more likely to be picked up and eaten than cauliflower or broccoli.
- And, if you drop your food on a floor that does contain micro-organisms, the food can be contaminated in 5 seconds or less.
A Snopes.com article explains simply, "Unlike baseball, when food hits the floor, it's out."