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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Is it safe to eat food that has fallen on the floor within five seconds?

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We’ve all heard of the five second rule which is when you pick up dropped food within five seconds and you convince yourself it’s safe to eat. But is it fact or fiction?

Well, crazy as it may seem, scientiestshave done studies on this rule and researchers from Rutgers University have debunked it.

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They dropped watermelon, bread, bread with butter, and gummy candy on stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet.

Then they examined bacteria levels on the food and for some of the items, contamination was instant.

Researchers say the contamination level depends on how dirty the floor is and how much bacteria can make it from floor to food in a few seconds.

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So here’s food for thought for floor eaters. The next time you feel like using the 5 second rule excuse, consider this, while the odds are in your favor that you won’t get sick and that it’s relatively harmless, the food you are putting in your mouth *is* contaminated.