The truth behind the ‘5-second rule’: When in doubt, throw it out, expert says

The burger patty that slides off the plate, the ice cream treat that plops on the picnic table, the hot dog that rolls off the grill — conventional wisdom has it that you have five seconds to pick it up before it is contaminated. Fact or folklore? “A dropped item is immediately contaminated and can’t really be sanitized,” explains one researcher. “When it comes to folklore, the ‘five-second rule’ should be replaced with ‘When in doubt, throw it out.’ ”

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