News that Vexes: 5-Second Rule Revisited [but it's still vexing]

News that Vexes

It's so tiresome to read 'new studies' that reveal Smoking, Stress or Obesity are Bad for you. Yet these studies appear all the time. It's time to take back the newswire from so-called Scientists!

Friday, September 09, 2016

5-Second Rule Revisited [but it's still vexing]

Long-time readers of News That Vexes may remember this little post from June 2006 - a scant TEN years ago.  That article's link doesn't work any more, but we care about you, so you can reread that reported "news" here

That 10-year old article basically said the 5-second rule for food dropped on the floor IS TRUE.  Caveat: "Sticky food though, will pick up bacteria faster than dry food."   REALLY?  Yes, really.

Now comes NEW research from Rutgers (It appears 'Rutgers' is Latin for "We have nothing better to study").  This hard-hitting article says that

Rutgers researchers have disproven the widely accepted notion that it's OK to scoop up food and eat it within a "safe" five-second window. Donald Schaffner, professor and extension specialist in food science, found that moisture, type of surface and contact time all contribute to cross-contamination. In some instances, the transfer begins in less than one second. Their findings appear online in the American Society for Microbiology's journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
One of my favorite parts of this 'news' story is that the researchers preemptively attempt to tell us that this is not dumb, nor are the researchers stupid:
"We decided to look into this because the practice is so widespread. The topic might appear 'light' but we wanted our results backed by solid science," said Schaffner

Another jewel: the subtitle of the press release is, "Eating food off the floor isn't safe."  Thanks Doc - But where were you yesterday when I was having dinner on the linoleum??! 

Personally I'd pay good money (25-30 cents) to see a Matt Lauer-moderated debate between Peter Blaschek - the U of Illinois researcher who said the 5-second rule is TRUE and this Rutgers professor who says it's FALSE.

Why not drop Dr. Shaffner an email congratulating him on his research?   He's had the last word at least.  Well, that is until some 4th grader corroborates - or disproves! - this research at their elementary school science fair.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home