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The 5-Second Rule

Nothing is more frustrating than paying for an excellent, great-tasting slice of pizza, getting ready to take that first bite and then...dropping it on the floor! Nobody likes losing their food. Often teens will abide by the classic, time-tested five-second rule: if you can pick up your food off the ground in five seconds, it is still safe to eat it. However, this rule is not as true or as time-tested as you may think.

Nobody likes getting sick.
Nobody likes to intentionally harm their body with hordes of infectious bacteria. Nobody likes to imagine eating dinner off the floor. Here are a few key reasons why you should not follow the five-second rule. If you do decide to follow it, here are a few precautions.

Just because a floor may look clean does not mean it is clean.
Even if you are at a nice, reputable restaurant, it is important to consider this: even freshly cleaned floors are safe havens for bacteria. Eating off a clean, shiny floor is the equivalent off eating your school lunch off of the newly washed cafeteria mop. Gross huh?

No matter how fast you pick your food off the floor, you will never be fast enough.
Unless you are Spiderman and can grab the food before it hits the floor, you should throw any food that makes contact with the floor away immediately. Especially if you are eating food with a wet surface, such as a watermelon, you need to throw this food away, as wet food picks up bacteria easier.

So next time you encounter the five-second rule, stop and think. No matter how clean the food or the floor looks or you think it is, know that both are harboring plenty of germs. You can get all kinds of unpleasant stuff such as diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach flu from this behavior. Be smart and throw the food out or make the closest animal's day by offering them a new snack!

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