I have a confession to make. When I look at online news-sites, I’m not looking for “real” news, I’m looking for unusual headlines. These are normally found on the SciTech pages (as they always seem to involve some kind of “scientific research”) of the less serious (for want of a better term) news-sites. Often, it’s either the research which is of a dubious nature – or the discussion of the results by reporters who don’t really understand science too well.
If I come across anything interesting, I’ll usually do a search to find out where the story originated – and if it is true. Otherwise, I just read the story for it’s amusement value and don’t take anything I read too seriously. [This is the motto of Laura's Unlikely Explanations, which offers similar entertainment value! In the case of Laura's blog, you just relax and enjoy reading as her explanation (and sometimes even the original story) are completely made up.]
I’ve got a couple of these intriguing and/or disturbing stories to share with you . . . The first is:
The “3-second rule” experiment – some know this as the “5-second rule”
Would you, if you drop some solid foodstuff on the floor, snatch it up and eat it as long as it hasn’t been there for longer than 3-seconds? Or do you, like my friend Riekie (when I told her about this), go “Ew, NO way”? Well, now you need wonder no more if it is safe to do this as . . .
Five food items were tested by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to see whether the three-second rule could be trusted.
Bread with jam, cooked pasta, ham, a plain biscuit and dried fruit were all dropped on the floor and left for three, five and 10 second intervals.
These were selected as they are commonly eaten foods and all have different water activity levels; a key factor in whether items will sustain bacterial growth in the three seconds before they are picked up from the floor.
After the study, the foods were examined to ascertain whether or not harmful bacteria found on the floor was then found to be growing on the dropped food.
The study revealed that dropped foods with a high salt or sugar content were safer to eat after being retrieved, as is less chance of harmful bacteria surviving on such items.
Eating processed food from the floor poses the lowest risk – one of its few benefits – given that it generally contains such high levels of sugar and salt.
Both the ham, a salty product, and the sugary bread and jam fared well in the test. When retrieved from the floor within three seconds, the foodstuffs showed little sign of bacterial growth.[From: MailOnline]
The five-second rule was also featured in an episode of the Discovery Channel series MythBusters. There was no significant difference in the number of bacteria collected from 2 seconds exposure as there was from 6 seconds exposure. The moisture, surface geometry and the location the food item was dropped on did, however, affect the number of bacteria.From: Wikipedia