Tile Warehouse has surveyed the UK public to determine who abides by the five-second rule, and how it’s perceived differently across the country. This so-called rule says food is OK to eat if you pick it up in five seconds or less.
Results have revealed that the threat of contamination isn’t stopping Brits from eating fallen food, with almost six in 10 (59%) agreeing that they would still eat food that had touched the floor. Of those who agreed, one in six (16%) preferred to only leave food for four to five seconds, following the favoured rule’s steps.
Just over 1% claimed that they would eat food left on the floor for up to one minute. Even more shockingly, one in 20 people (5%) claimed that they would eat the food no matter how long it had been left on the floor.
The study found that women (56%) were less likely to eat food off the floor than men (61%). It seems that generational divides also extend to the five-second rule, with millennials (aged 24-42) the most likely to leave food on the floor the longest.
Members of this generation gave seven seconds as the average amount of time they would comfortably leave food on the floor before eating it. A closer look at the regions found that those in Scotland were likely to leave food on the floor for the longest amount of time with an average of 10 seconds.
In second place was Greater London, with residents admitting they would leave their food on the floor for a maximum of six seconds at a time. The research was conducted by Censuswide among 2,000 general consumers aged 18 and over in May 2022.
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