A Germ of an Idea

Still looks good to me…

You’d have to be living under a dirty dishtowel not to know that recent years have seen a slew of research debunking ye olde “Five-Second Rule” (known to some as the more stringent “Three-Second Rule”) regarding the edibility of food dropped on the floor.

Even one of my personal heroes, The Daily Show‘s Most Senior Correspondent Samantha Bee, took to shilling for Clorox Bleach years ago in an effort to disabuse the masses of their belief in this popular food safety myth.

Well, Clorox is at it again, promoting (for the public good, no doubt) the results of yet another study that’s proven that germs can infect a dropped morsel in less than five seconds. Even Gawker has deemed this San Diego State University study worthy of reportage.

So, consider me reformed. Never again will I pick up a fallen-five-seconds-ago pickle or Froot Loop® or Angus ribeye and pop it into my mouth — or back onto my unuspecting kid’s plate.

The scientists have spoken. So there’s a new rule in da house…


A Germ of an Idea

Scientists, I hear ya –
All those warnings ‘bout bacteria
Bringing microbes by the score
To food fallen on the floor.

Yes, I see that you have tested
How fast grub will get infested,
Dropping tidbits on the tile
to examine in a while.

It appears that your inspection
Has determined that collection
Of those spreaders of infection
Happens soon after connection.

Things like nasty salmonella
That could hurt a healthy fella,
And e. coli that’s just waiting
To begin contaminating.

So you say we shouldn’t risk it
For a brownie or a biscuit
(even if it’s really yummy)
That has landed somewhere scummy.

And your warnings are quite dire
Should one drop a pacifier
And then pop it in one’s mouth
To remove the spores that sprout.

But I thought that you should know
That – as far as kitchens go –
When it comes to floor hygiene,
Mine is relatively clean.

So I’ve cooked up a solution
For reducing the confusion,
A new policy that’s firm
For insuring us ‘gainst germs.

It’s as simple as can be–
No more five seconds, nor three.
And my new food safety tool?
I call it The Two-Second Rule.


©2012 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


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