The Today Show Tackles The Five-Second Rule

Hey look, the Today Show dropped two pieces of bread on the floor to test the five-second rule. Unlike a recent study conducted by real scientists, the Today Show’s test was overseen by two college students clad in matching black shirts. Towards the end, Matt Lauer chimes in with some excellent advice: “I don’t pick Skittles off the ground in the train station. No, I don’t do that.”

The Today Show


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  1. redknight says:

    So in the beginning did she just drop the bread into some dust so we could see it, or did she really think that was bacteria?

    Microbiology 101 please.

  2. Toof_75_75 says:

    Thank you Matt Lauer…if you don’t do it, neither will I!

  3. Narockstar says:

    When are they going to stop wasting time with this? We know the ground is dirty. We know we shouldn’t eat food off of it. No one actually believes that there’s a 5 second barrier. How is this news? It’s a childhood joke. Maybe they should do a study to scientifically find out how often, in fact, “he who smelt it, actually dealt it?”

  4. FreakyStyley says:

    If I drop it onto a clean surface, I pick it up and eat it. That’s why you have an immune system, kids, and it needs practice.

  5. PenguinBlue says:

    “Rumor or Reality”?

    What, did The Early Show get “Fact or Fiction” first?

  6. B says:

    @Narockstar: I’ve known plenty of adults who believe in the five second rule, including my boss when I worked in a bagel shop while in high school. Surprisingly, that bagel shop didn’t stay in business very long

  7. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    While I agree that our immune systems need to be exposed to some germs to keep it strong, I doubt eatting floor food is nessicary. Just eatting anything prepaired by any place other than your own kitchen could be exposing you to all sorts of germs. What exposes you to more bacteria and germs? Eatting one piece of bread off a studio floor, or a weeks worth of lunch at McDonalds?

  8. letoofdune says:

    Mythbusters did this seasons ago.

  9. Kaien says:

    The immune system gets plenty of exercise being around people in general and the basic stress of everyday life + pollution.
    Only if we somehow eradicate diseases, would be the only time our immune system would grow weak.

    Yes, some people believe in the 5 second rule, but I’m of more mind to not eat anything off the floor, as it has a chance of getting in deeper at a faster rate since you eat it. Antibodies can eliminate most things that simply try to take the long trek through the body, while ingested things can get in before they are able to react.

  10. Wormfather says:

    What a wimp, wont eat off the bathroom floor. Everyone knows that urine=flava.


  11. ChrisC1234 says:

    My personal rule has always been that if the food that I drop is WET, then it does NOT get consumed, no matter how clean the floor may be (or even the countertop). Wet things are magnet to pick up nastiness. Now, if the food is dry (cracker, potato chip, candy), it’s good to go after being picked up. Some things, such as icecream, can have a small layer sliced off to make them good to eat again (no sense in wasting a whole scoop of icecream just because one side of the scoop hit the ground.

  12. mopar_man says:


    I think that’s the first time I saw it done too.

  13. Namrepus says:

    Didn’t they cover this on Mythbusters?

    Jamie and Adam > Matt Lauer

  14. DojiStar says:


    Yeah, Mythbusters did do this one last season.

    Today show has stooped to stealin’ the Mythbusters shit!! WTF

  15. STrRedWolf says:

    Mythbusters definitely did that by using an autoclave and bacterial growth petri dishes. Someone needs to get NBC and The Discovery Channel together.

  16. jrdnjstn78 says:

    I thought I saw Matt Lauer at the train station yesterday and what do you know, he was picking up the skittles my son dropped onto the floor. I saw Matt go into the bathroom after that and I bet he washed off those skittles and ate them with sheer delite!

  17. shoegazer says:

    @FreakyStyley: My immune system is equipped with the biological equivalent of fully automatic military assault rifles, with night vision and laser scopes. And we have recently acquired phosphorous grenades, cluster bombs and anti personnel fragmentation mines. So, when my white blood cells are on patrol reconnoitering my blood stream seeking out strangers and other undesirables, and if they see any, ANY, suspicious looking germs of any kind, THEY DON’T. FUCK. AROUND.

  18. t-spoon says:

    Shoegazer should give credit to George Carlin on that one.

  19. dugn says:

    Oh yeah. The Today Show.

    Matt Lauer: “More soldiers died in Iraq today,”

    Meredith Vieira: “A carcinogen that puts your kids at risk. It’s in your home right now,”

    Matt Lauer: “The President vetos a controversial ammendment today,”

    Meredith Vieira: “All this and more – coming up. But first, is your pet psychic?”

    Next up – how long farts linger.

  20. elf6c says:

    Lazy Today Show Producers stealing from Mythbusters and thinking nobody would notice.


  21. Elviswasntmyhero says:

    It shouldn’t take a scientific experiment ([]) to prove that the five-second rule is about as truthful as, oh, I don’t know, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Therefore, any numbnuts who eats food that falls on the ground, much less picks it up and feeds it to a child, should automatically be sent to Iraq to look for IEDs.

  22. doodaddy says:

    Since we’ve already mentioned Mythbusters many times, I thought I’d point out that the episode on the 5 second rule included other bacterial myths as well, including toilet seats, keyboards, dog’s vs human’s mouths, etc.

    (Hint: toilets are pretty clean, keyboards are not, candy, meat, etc are fine for “5 seconds” and probably much longer, dogs are cleaner than people.)

  23. nardo218 says:


    It doesn’t matter how long it’s on the floor, what matters is the moisture content of the food.

  24. HungryGrrl says:

    I’ll eat off my mom’s floor.

    If I drop something in my own apartment that I can rinse (like say, some raw pepper slices), I’ll rinse it and use it.

    I bet preparing or eating food with unwashed hands provides just as many germs as a floor.

  25. bchains says:

    ahh, the high quality of college research in the US.