Sarà capitato ad ognuno di noi, almeno una volta nella vita, di rovesciare per terra una bevanda o di far cadere un alimento. E la classica domanda che subito viene in mente è: posso mangiarlo o meglio buttarlo via? Con i liquidi il problema ovviamente non si pone, a meno che non si sia un cane o un gatto.

Per gli alimenti invece una delle tante leggende metropolitane circolanti vuole che il cibo caduto in terra si possa consumare a patto che non si facciano passare più di 5 secondi dal suo impatto col suolo. La famosa “regola dei 5 secondi” o “Five seconds rule” per dirlo all’inglese.

Quella che finora era stata considerata da molti come una sciocchezza o una diceria ha ora invece, almeno in parte, trovato una conferma scientifica. Un autorevole studio compiuto dai ricercatori dell’Università di Aston, a Birmigham, nel Regno Unito, ha messo in luce come i germi non attacchino immediatamente l’alimento caduto, ma debba passare un certo lasso di tempo affinchè ciò accada.

I vari esperimenti sono stati compiuti su differenti tipologie di vivande, come pasta, biscotti, pane e dolci, lasciati cadere su pavimenti con mattonelle, lisci, ruvidi o con tappeti e moquette. E i risultati hanno parzialmente dato ragione alla diceria popolare.

Gli studiosi hanno infatti osservato che, in base al cibo e al tipo di terreno su cui esso si trova a giacere, i batteri, come l’escherichia coli e lo staffilococco, impiegano da 3 secondi a mezzo minuto per aggredire gli alimenti caduti in terra. Questo per quanto riguarda i cibi secchi, mentre per le bevande i tempi si accorciano ancora di più.

Quindi niente drammi o paranoie se per sbaglio ciò che si sta per mangiare non raggiunge la bocca e finisce invece sul pavimento. Ma la prontezza di riflessi rimane comunque fondamentale per non mettere a rischio la propria salute.



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