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The 5 Second Rule Explained – A Completely Scientific Infographic

28th January 2014

5 Second Rule, you’ve always got our backs.

It all starts when some kind of accident (lightning, SWAT Team, power outage) causes you to drop your food. You panic. You’ve only got 5 seconds to pick it up – or you risk breaking the infamous 5 second rule.

5 second rule meme

Pictured: You. Happy.

But is it safe to stuff that food in your mouth? What’s happened to it in the 5 seconds it was rolling around on the floor?

Some people argue that as soon as you’ve dropped food, you should leave it behind. We conducted our own complete super scientific investigations*, and came to our own conclusions. *Neither scientific nor complete.

Tap or click to take a closer look:

The 5 second food rule

And now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

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  • sc

    Schrodindgers plate??? Haha. Is it or isnt it.

  • Roger Stenning

    HA! Schroedingers Plate! Excellent! Gonna borrow that next time I have a strong field food vs gravity interraction!

  • Stew

    Funnily enough, as the food accelerates towards the floor, time becomes distorted (Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity) so the five seconds, measured on your watch which is static, may be considerably less for the food. Therefore the five second rule can easily be extended to several minutes if necessary.
    Also, shouting “No…o…o…o…o…” and moving in slow motion to retrieve the food (like a Hollywood film thingy) extends the five seconds by a factor of at least four.

  • 247a

    Actually it has been proven on mythbusters the 5 second rule is hog wash time has no factor on how infected the food becomes instead it is how sticky the food is so basicly pizza if not sticky fine after a few minuets, but jam toast for example is very risky. i still recommend the whole give it a quick brush before eating just to be safe.