Today we embark on a new food journey (and monthly series) into the wacky world of culinary conundrums.  

Use by dates, to freeze or not to freeze and the infamous 5-second rule!  There are many schools of thought on these hot topics.  So, what better way to solve these culinary conundrums than to turn to experts in the culinary and nutrition world, to hear where they take a stand.  Our new monthly series will address one of these topics each month, making for some interesting conversations and fun food fodder!

First up: We ask the experts to answer this age-old, controversial question: “Do you believe in the 5-second rule?”  The answers may surprise you…or maybe not!

“Not in the Food52 kitchen! As far as our apartments go, our lips are sealed.”Editors at Food52
“Absolutely, I’d even stretch it to the 10 second rule — depending upon how clean the floor is.”Melissa Clark, food columnist for The New York Times and cookbook author

“Whether a food is on the floor for five seconds or one second matters little to me. What matters is what food has fallen and whose floor it is. I may eat a tortilla chip off my floor but not a fudgy brownie. Then again, it depends on how hungry I am and if it is the last brownie!”Janice Bissex, MS RD and one of the Mom’s Behind Meal Makeover Mom

“I practice it every once in a while but only at home and after my house cleaner has cleaned the floors. I would never do it at my restaurant!” Joan Weir, Chef, Restaurateur and Cookbook Author

“Yes, most of the time I do!  I think there is some truth to the hygiene hypothesis, which purports that as we move away from infections we have experienced a rise in allergies and autoimmune diseases.  It may be that certain infectious agents—bugs—we co-evolved with may protect us from immune-related conditions.  The idea is that our ultra-cleanliness may not be such a healthy thing.  However, people can still get really sick—even die—from food borne illness.  So, I think it’s important to follow food safety rules and use caution with particularly vulnerable foods, such as with fresh produce, which will not be cooked, and hand-washing after exposure to raw meats, poultry and fish, and after using the restroom, and avoiding cross contamination of raw meats and fresh foods.  And the 5 second rule depends on where I drop my food!”Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian

“I think it’s actually the 3 second rule and no, I don’t really believe in it.”Ana Sortun, Chef, Restaurateur and Cookbook Author

“Do I believe in it? No. But do I occasionally give in to the 5 Second Rule? Yes! If I dropped an apple on the floor, I’d wash it again and then eat it. I’m not gonna lie. Food grows from the ground, after all. When I’m around my 4 year old though, I have to be careful because she doesn’t differentiate between, say, a stadium bathroom floor and our clean kitchen floor, you know? That is a lesson I’ve been teaching her lately.”Michelle Dudash, RDN & chef consultant

What do you think about this age-old question?

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