The age-old “five-second rule” about food on the floor isn’t entirely about how long something sits on a surface – such as food on the floor – but more about how much bacteria is on that surface. As Aaron Carroll, MD, writing for The Upshot column in The New York Times discusses the relative bacterial colonization of different surfaces in the home, he points out that the kitchen counter has more than double the level of bacteria compared to the floor. The kitchen sponge is likely to be the most dirty thing in the kitchen. Everything we touch is dirty including the money we use to pay for food which we then consume with the hands we paid for the food with!
As Dr. Carroll suggests, this should remind us all to wash our hands before we eat!