Are you guilty of following the "five second rule" when you drop food on the floor? Many people are. Personally, I follow the "three second rule" but not all the time. It depends where I am, like if I'm at home and I know the floors are cleaned. But if I'm elsewhere in the garbage it goes.

But have you ever wondered where this rule came from? Who made it up? And why do so many people swear by it? And most importantly, is it true?!

Finally, we have an answer! Metro reports that there is no final answer but it mostly depends on the cleanliness of the surface.

According to scientists from the University of Illinois, bacteria can be transferred to food if the surface is dirty enough. But how dirty how is dirty enough?

If you have millions or more cells on a surface, 0.1 per cent is still enough to make you sick.

And you’ll only need around ten cells of E. coli to make you feel poorly."

Okay... but it's not like we can get on the floor and count how many bacteria cells are living on there. So let's get to the point...

If you're going to follow this rule it's safer to eat food off the carpet than a tile or wood surface. I know! I found this surprising too! Researchers found that less than 1% of bacteria was transferred to the food from the carpet. But, 48-70% of bacteria made contact with food when it fell on a tile or wood surface!

Bottom line, it's your prerogative if you choose to follow the five second rule but if you're going to, make sure it's not a nasty surface, whether it be carpet or otherwise.