COLLEGE PARK, MD – A recently concluded study is causing waves in the food industry as scientists at the University of Maryland have discovered that despite commonly held beliefs, food dropped on the floor is not free of germs, dirt or bacteria if picked up within five seconds.
“We started this project 12 years ago and seeing the results now, well, it makes us all a little uncomfortable,” said lead researcher Jeremiah Steinwick. “You know, thinking about how all through the study we dropped M & Ms or Skittles on the floor, only to pick them up right away and eat them, it makes me sick. The five-second rule, which we all held so dear and close to our hearts is, well, it’s all a lie. Just like my marriage.”
The five-second rule, as it has come to be referred to as, is the theory that any piece of food, regardless of size, that has been dropped on any unsanitary object will not be contaminated if retrieved and eaten within five seconds.
According to the report released by the scientists involved, the experiment consisted of three stages. The first stage, or the “hard candy” stage, had researches dropping Skittles candies on the floor and picking them up in 5 second intervals. Each individual candy was then labeled with the date of the test, the researches name, the study id, the test phase, the sample number the length of time it had been on the floor, which floor it had been on and what was on TV at the time of the candy being on the floor.
“(The hard candy phase) was a little rough,” said assistant researcher Jaimi Contreras. “That was a lot of information to write on a Skittle. But we did eventually find a pen with fine enough tips to do and proceeded with the test. It was kinda like those scam artists in the mall, you know the ones that say they write you name on a grain of rice. But really, they aren’t writing on the rice, they’re writing on a piece of paper under a magnifying glass. But you don’t know any better ‘cus it looks like they are writing on the rice. Fuck those guys. Who the hell wants a piece of rice with their name on it anyway? How lame of a present would that be? Me, I’d get pissed if anyone ever gave me something like that. Man, I hate those guys.”
In addition to the hard candy stage, other stages of the study included a soft taco stage and a glass of milk stage. During the course of the test it was proved that despite the length of time the food or drink had been on the floor, it had a little bit of dirt or other contaminant on it.
“Oddly enough, one candy had semen on it,” Contreras said. “We aren’t real sure how that got on there. And to be honest, we didn’t find any semen on the floor which means it was on the Skittle before we even started the test. But anyways – basically this is the test that made us think we were on to something. Me, I’ve jizzed on a Skittle before. Then I ate it. I’m not gay or anything, I was just curious. It was kinda like when you see something really nasty and you don’t want to look, but you do. Then you can’t stop looking. That’s what it was like. I don’t want to keep eating them, but I can’t stop.”
While the results are being seen as a giant step in the eyes of the researchers, the general public does not seem to ready to hear the results.
“You know, I really don’t want to hear what (the research team) finds,” said William Allison, College Park businessman. “First of all, it seems like a huge waste of my tax money. Secondly, even if I drop a piece of candy on a pile of dog shit, I know in my heart that if I can get it in five seconds, it’s all right. And that’s fine by me.”