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Timing is often everythying

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POSTED: March 25, 2014 2:30 p.m.

We’ve all heard the saying “Timing is everything” — and, apparently, it is when it comes to dropping food on the floor and then picking it up and eating it.  
Researchers from Aston University in Birmingham, England, suggest that the five-second rule is, indeed, true. While it is true that some bacteria gets on your dropped food immediately, the less time it spends on the floor, the safer it is … so they say.
No doubt, it also is important to know a little bit of information regarding the floor on which food is dropped. I clean our kitchen floor on a routine basis, but my cats walk on this floor every day. I’m not eating anything that falls on our kitchen floor, knowing where my cats had been earlier that day. You get the picture.
Now, the other day I did eat a pretzel that fell on the living-room carpet. My guess is it spent less than two seconds on the floor. I love my pretzels, and the thought of throwing one away is not an option. To my credit, the study also concluded that more bacteria are transferred from tile and laminate surfaces than from carpeted floors.
The type of food that is dropped also is important. Moist food, when compared to dry food, picked up more bacteria from all floor surfaces tested. Luckily, that pretzel had not entered my mouth yet; otherwise, I might have had to defer to the research findings. Even if the carpet was clean, I have my own “I’m not eating cat hair” rule. But in this case, a quick swipe across the pants and it was good as new.
Maybe I’m missing something, but didn’t we all used to eat stuff off of the floor when we were little? I’m pretty sure my older sister used to feed me stuff off the floor all the time. I can’t recall her saying anything about a five-second rule. I think it was more like, “Eat it, it won’t kill you.” And sure enough, I’m still here.
Matter of fact, I could have been a research subject during my younger years. One of my sister’s favorite stories about me is, when I was 4 years old, I would run up to the neighborhood elementary school and drink all the leftover chocolate milk from the glass containers sitting outside for pickup by the dairy store. Back then, they served milk in glass jars with foil lids, and they would get returned and washed for further use. I’m pretty sure those glass jars made the chocolate milk taste better, too.
A few years ago, Kelly Clarkson came out with a hit song entitled “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” No doubt, she probably had a little brother, too.

DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange. Contact him at 912-531-7867 or visit him on the web at www.thesuitesatstationexchange.com.

 

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