Live Better

The 5 second rule

Science finds the spilled food rule may well be true.

Who hasn’t called the “five second rule” after dropping a delicious morsel of food onto the floor? New research from Aston University in Britain supports the idea that within a small window of time, food dropped on the floor is likely still okay to eat.

To test the myth, researchers from Aston University dropped biscuits, toast, pasta and sticky lollies and waited from three to 30 seconds before testing the bacteria transfer.

The result? Moist foods are more likely to follow the five-second rule, although toast can sit for much longer than pasta. Food dropped on carpet is also the least likely surface to transfer bacteria – just be more wary about tiled and laminate flooring.

Recommended Reading


Beef, shiitake and spring onion risotto recipe

An easy and satisfying risotto, full of flavour. Read more


Roasted capsicum recipe

A simple side dish, or delicious in sandwiches or pasta. Read more


Veggie-packed penne pasta salad with smoked salmon recipe

Add loads of fresh veggies for a delicious pasta dish. Read more


Stove-baked weekend eggs recipe

A warming weekend breakfast, full of energising protein. Read more


The best healthy snacks for work

Try these dietitian-approved ideas for a quick energy boost. Read more


Food for winter cosiness

Dietitian Lisa Donaldson shares some tips for warming up. Read more


Meal planning made easy

Save time and money by getting organised in the kitchen. Read more


A dietitian’s guide to the supermarket

Healthy eating starts with healthy shopping. Read more

youtubetwittersign-up-userArtboard Copynp_phone_503983_000000download_red4xdownload_red4x copyArtboardmember-offer-starLogoMedibank - Logo - ColourOval 5Instagram iconicon-editdownload_red4x copygive-back--spinesgive-back--moneygive-back--massagegive-back--likegive-back--jointgive-back--emailgive-back--dislikedownload_red4xdownload_red4xGroup 5filter-iconfacebookMobile Navcheckcarret-upcarret-rightcarret-leftcarret-downGroup Copy 2arrowarrow-circleanimated-tick