I was walking with my two boys Troy and William when I dropped half a pretzel I had just bought. I frantically picked it up the second I dropped it but it did touch the grass below me. As I picked it up I sad out loud “Five Second Rule”. My kids looked at me like I was crazy as I put the pretzel back into my mouth. I explained to them if something you are eating touches the floor and you pick it up within five seconds then its still edible.
Informant: The informant of this piece of folklore is Lawrence Winkenhower. He is in his early fifties and has lived his whole life in California. He spent his childhood in Malibu and later moved to the Pacific Palisades. Lawrence is in his early fifties.
Analysis: The five second rule is very iconic and people all over the country practice this rule. Some people think it is gross to drop food on the floor and then still eat it. I think people’s frustration with dropping food in a long past time caused them to develop this five second rule. The origins of this could potentially be due to people thinking that germs from the floor need at least five seconds to contaminate food. This is obviously not true and if food was on the floor for half a second and five second the germ or bacteria built up would probably be the same. A lot of children use this because they are clumsier and more likely to drop food.