Harold McGee looks at research on the five-second rule and formulates version 2.0: "If you drop a piece of food, pick it up quickly, take five seconds to recall that just a few bacteria can make you sick, then take a few more to think about where you dropped it and whether or not it’s worth eating."

I employ the five-second rule at my apartment and other people's houses, and for food that's fallen into my lap; everywhere else is pretty much a no-eat zone.

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