When you were a kid and dropped some precious candy on the ground, you thought nothing of quickly picking it up, dusting it off and putting it back in the ol' candy-hole. As long as you shouted "five-second rule!" before doing so, you were good to go. As you got older and wiser, you dismissed this rule, but the scientists from Discovery Science Channel's "The Quick and the Curious" show say you weren't as dumb as you thought. To prove this point, NASA engineer Mike Meacham goes around the park offering free chocolate chip cookies to everyone, with one catch—he drops it on the ground first. Most people decline, but one smart/hungry man isn't about to pass up a free dessert. "God made dirt, and dirt don't hurt" he said. Can you blame him? His girlfriend did.
The video below explains it's safe to eat the cookie, really. The five second rule is legit, especially if the floor and the food item are both dry. Even wet foods are affected by time. "Moist foods left longer than 30 seconds collect 10 times the bacteria than those snapped up after only three," the narrator says. Surprisingly, it's also better to drop your food on carpet rather than linoleum. Who would've guessed?
To recap, you're probably fine if:
1) The food is dry.
2.) The floor is dry.
3.) There's not some other floor-related grossness that you're just ignoring because you're gross and you lie to yourself.
So, next time your butter fingers make you drop your Butterfinger, relax, Science says that sh*t's still good. Maybe just look around and make sure no one's looking first.