Is it alright to eat food that’s been dropped on the floor? | The Summit Express

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Is it alright to eat food that’s been dropped on the floor?


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Do you feel guilty eating food that’s been dropped on the floor?

Is it alright to eat food that’s been dropped on the floor?
Do you feel guilty eating food that’s been dropped on the floor? PHOTO CREDIT: Uproxx.com
An expert claims you shouldn’t be, as we can still consume food that’s been on the floor, even for more than 5 seconds. Indiana professor Aaron Carroll believes that we should be more concerned of the bacteria from other household surfaces, that can possibly contaminate food, compared to the floor.

In his interview with New York Times, Carroll said the kitchen counter, sink and the handle of the fridge, which food items often get in contact with, are “far dirtier” than the floor. The expert explained that it should be no cause for alarm as we have a tough immune system for our bodies to tolerate this.

“One is to become paranoid about everything...The alternative is to realize that for most of us, our immune systems are pretty hardy,” Carroll said.

“We've all been touching this dirty stuff for a long time, without knowing it, and doing just fine,” he added.

To prove his claim, Carroll cited a research carried out by Professor Charles Gerba of University of Arizona. The 1998 study showed that the kitchen floor (3 CFU/sq. in) was home to less bacteria compared to the fridge handle (more than 5 CFU/sq. in) and kitchen counter (more than 5.75 CFU/sq.in).

Furthermore, Carroll added that the same principle applies to the bathroom. While the toilet seat is perceived to be the dirtiest surface in the bathroom, it only harboured (0.68 CFU/sq.in) compared to the flush handle (34.65 CFU/sq. in) and the tap on the skink (15.84 CFU/sq. in).

The best way to ensure that we don’t get sick from these nasty bacteria, according to Carroll, is to wash our hands before eating.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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