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Five second rule

Last night I was cooking up some frozen Trader Joe's potstickers and I put my recommended serving size of seven in the pan (seven is the number on the bag, and seven is the number I eat) then dropped one on the floor. Almost without thinking about it I picked it up off the floor, dusted it off and tossed it into the pan with the others. But I absolutely would not have put it back in the bag with the other still-frozen potstickers.

I realized that to me, at least, five-second-rule foods are OK for immediately consumption but NOT for storage and later consumtion. Does the five second rule work like that for you?

It reminded me of something from an L.M. Montgomery book, The Blue Castle, I think. Roaring Abel (I think) is talking about how mean the woman who kept house for him was and says that when the cat (or dog) got into the jam jar she wrung the jam back off its paw into the jar. Which is, indeed, pretty gross. Grosser than just eating up the rest of the jar of jam right then.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 19th, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
(That jam thing is so gross, I cringe every time I read it, ew ew ew!)

I definitely would cook it if it hit the floor. But I think I would have put it back in the bag, too. It was still frozen when it hit the floor? I would just brush it off and put it in the bag if it had been number 8 instead of number 7.
Mar. 19th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
It's a really vivid image, isn't it! Holding the animal's paw over the jar and squeezing the jam off it! I can totally see it, every time I read it.

Frozen things do seem to maintain their cleanness somehow, though. And potstickers are pretty dry when they're frozen, which also makes them good candidates for the five-second rule.
Mar. 19th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
The frozen thing really helps.
Mar. 19th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
I don't think I'd mostly have a probably putting something back away if I also thought it was clean enough to eat- but there'd have to be a good reason I wasn't eating it right then (like, if I dropped something really big). But I live by myself- I would definitely not put something away that someone else might end up eating.

I'd forgotten the paw thing, but ick. I don't think any reuse rules apply to things pets have been in (and especially dogs. I wouldn't want secondhand cat hair or spit in my food either, but at least I know she hasn't been outside rolling in anything dead.)
Mar. 19th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I think the "someone else might eat it" thing is probably where my reluctance to put things back comes from, even though in this case and most others I would be the only one likely to eat the thing in question.

I don't know if I'd want litterbox dust in my jam any more than outdoor dog substances, but yes, food that pets (or, god forbid, nonpets) have gotten into is pretty much out of consideration for being eaten by humans, at least in my house.
Mar. 19th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, I'd forgotten litterbox. That would be pretty nasty...
Mar. 21st, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)
Trust me, I'm a nurse
If you put the food in your mouth after it's been on the floor, the bacteria in your mouth out-competes whatever bacteria was on the floor and is now on your food if, if you pick it up in the five second window. If you put it in the fridge or the freezer, it's contaminated, full stop. ;)
Mar. 21st, 2010 12:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Trust me, I'm a nurse
Oh, I know! For me the five-second-rule has more to do with some kind of ritual uncleanness than actual microbiological contamination. And given that I've never had food poisoning in my life (even eating moderately dodgy street food, etc.), I have ample evidence that my mouth and gut bacteria are well up to the job of out-competing whatever nasties I might ingest in my own home.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )