The dirty truth about 3 common germ myths


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If you’ve ever had legit food poisoning, you know it’s not a joke. It’s a horrible experience that’s basically a 24-hour version of The Stomach Flu from Hell. So, nobody wants food poisoning, but are you informed enough to prevent it?

Some common food safety “rules” are straight-up wrong. Before you make your next meal, separate fact from fiction:


1. The five-second rule

Five seconds, no big deal, right? Wrong, wrong, WRONG. Actually, five seconds is more than enough time for sickness-inducing bacteria to take over your bite. According to the The Journal of Applied Microbiology, bacteria actually adhere to dropped food almost immediately, so if you drop something, just toss it.

Germ Verdict: Fiction


2. Germs can’t survive in the fridge

“If something is in the fridge, it’s A-OK to eat.” That advice has led many to a date night with the porcelain throne. That’s because germs can live in temps as cold as 36 degrees Fahrenheit. But that’s not all: NSF International actually calls fridge drawers one of the germiest places in your home, often containing both Salmonella and Listeria. Um, ew.

To protect your food, keep fruit and vegetables stored separately from meat, and wash your veggie drawer once a month with a food-safe disinfectant.

Germ Verdict: Fiction


3. You need to dry produce after you wash it

When you buy veggies from the store, we hope you wash them before you bite in. But do you dry them afterwards? You should! According to Mythbusters, drying recently washed produce further reduces the level of bacteria. So while washing does a lot against food poisoning, think of drying produce like germ-fighting insurance. Tip: Make sure you use a clean cloth!

Germ Verdict: Fact


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