What can happen if you eat food that fell on the ground?

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What can happen if you eat food that fell on the ground?







© Lisa Fotios



You enjoy a snack when it falls to the ground and you immediately pick it up, do you hesitate between throwing it away or eating it?

You probably think you are protected by the five second rule. According to this famous rule, if food falls and is in contact with the ground for less than 5 seconds, it is safe to pick it up and eat it.

Does the five second rule work?

It matters what is on the ground and not how long the food has passed to lift it.

If you drop your food on a floor that contains microorganisms, food can become contaminated in 5 seconds or less. So Jillian Clarke checked who won the Nobel Prize in Public Health for investigating the scientific validity of the rule.

Clarke dropped gummy bears and chocolate chip cookies for 5 seconds on tiles with E. Coli bacteria. In all cases, the E. coli transferred from tile to food.

Clarke had previously recorded that the rule worked on the floors of the University of Illinois where there was not even a countable number of bacteria on the floor.

It has been shown that pathogen transfer is highest in smooth rather than rough surfaces like the carpet.

Wet food will pick up more contamination from the floor compared to dry food.

Could you get sick if you eat food that fell on the floor?

You may not get sick all the time but there is a possibility. It depends on the type of germs that are in the soil, that is, if they are pathogens (cause foodborne diseases).

If you made raw chicken, your kitchen floor can hold Salmonella; if you prepared ground beef then there might be E. coli.

Most people infected with Salmonella and E. coli develop diarrhea (often bloody in E.coli), fever, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Salmonella symptoms appear from 6 hours to 6 days after ingestion bacteria and E. coli 3 to 4 days later.

If you have a pet, can leave bacteria on the floor of your house depending on what step outside or inside (like cats in their litter box).

Cat feces can transmit Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes a disease that can cause serious health problems in people at high risk of poisoning such as pregnant women, infants, older adults and people with weakened immune systems, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Even walking around your house can spread germs. “And someone had diarrhea Due to a foodborne illness, there could be contamination on the bathroom floor, ”Dr. Worobo tells Live Strong and these germs could be spreading throughout the house.

Cleaning your floors is not a guarantee

Clean your floors removes visible dirt, but does not mean to be disinfected and there are safe levels of microorganisms. There are many places on the floor where bacteria can remain even when you clean regularly. On hardwood floors, for example, pathogens can be between the cracks.

Should you risk eating food that fell on the ground?

Even if you haven’t gotten sick from eating food on the floor in the past (or haven’t found the connection), that doesn’t mean it will always be this way. If you have a compromised immune system, you shouldn’t risk it.

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See article in El Diario NY

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