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Is The 5-Second Rule a Real Thing?


We've all heard of the five-second rule - but is it real, or just wishful thinking?

In a clip from new Science Channel show, "The Quick and the Curious," NASA engineer Mark Rober offers cookies to passersby but drops them before the volunteers can take a bite. Some turn down the free snack, while others grab it off the floor.

And as the show explains, it's fine to do so - for the most part.

Read: Don't Throw It Out Yet! When Does Food Really Expire?

Whenever a piece of food is dropped on the ground, small amounts of bacteria will jump on immediately, the show explains. But moist food is more likely to present a problem because bacteria, such as E.coli and listeria, love wet environments.

"Moist foods left longer than 30 seconds collect 10 times the bacteria than those snapped up after only three," the video explains.

Read: Bagged Salads Recalled Over Links to Deadly Listeria Outbreak Across 6 States

And dropping a piece of food on a rug is safer than dropping it on a flat surface like linoleum because the fibers of a rug have less surface area touching the food.

The new half-hour show, which breaks down fun science into bite-sized pieces, premieres with back-to-back episodes this Saturday at 10 p.m.

Watch: 8 Kitchen Hacks That Can Help Keep Your Food Fresher Longer