Video: Science Debunks 5-Second Rule

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The so-called five-second rule is the belief that food can hit the floor for up to five full seconds (sometimes more, depending on who you are talking to) without becoming contaminated.

But now, a group of San Diego State researchers and Clorox want to ruin the five seconds of fun with their facts and statistics. For example: Dried fruit can pick up dangerous bacteria in less than five seconds, while pasta can pick up dangerous bacteria in just three.

To come to their conclusion that the five-second rule is mere myth, the group dropped baby carrots on different surfaces, including a countertop, a kitchen sink, a table, a high chair tray and both carpeted and tiled floors. The group found the countertop to be the dirtiest surface, followed closely by the carpet and tile floor.

"We wanted to know if there was any truth to the theory that bacteria need time to attach to surfaces of fallen food or commonly dropped items like sippy cups," said Dr. Scott Kelley, associate professor of biology at San Diego State University. "Unfortunately, for those of us who lived by that rule, it looks like a total myth—five seconds is all it takes."

If you live the five-second lifestyle, you are not alone. According to a study of 500 moms and dads across the country, 65 percent of parents admitted to following the five-second rule in their home.

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