Germ expert Professor Anthony Hilton, has said that although the food is not completely risk-free, people should not be overly concerned, as the food was only there momentarily.
Scientists investigate the 5 second rule, and say food that's been dropped on the floor for a short amount of time should be fine to eat. pic.twitter.com/ctupVh9vnx— Heart NE News (@HeartNENews) March 15, 2017
Professor Hilton discussed his findings at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) exhibition for young people.
"Obviously, food covered in visible dirt shouldn't be eaten, but as long as it's not contaminated, the science shows that food is unlikely to have picked up harmful bacteria from a few seconds spent on an indoor floor. That is not to say that germs can't transfer from the floor to the food," Professor Hilton said in a recent interview.
"Our research has shown that the nature of the floor surface, the type of food dropped on the floor and the length of time it spends on the floor can all have an impact on the number that can transfer," he added.
Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK, organizers of The Big Bang Fair, said that Professor Hilton's research only highlights how science is present in everyday life.
"From testing how safe food is to inventing new food and drink, the limits of how we can apply science and engineering are endless," Mr. Jackson said.
However, the UK National Health Service (NHS) provide a different perspective: