An overwhelming number of Brits are putting their health at risk by believing they can eat food that has been on the floor, according to flooring specialist Discount Flooring Depot.
A survey of 1,009 UK adults by DiscountFlooringDepot.co.uk revealed that 39% believe the ‘three second rule’ protects them from harmful bacteria. This popular myth suggests that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat, if it is picked up within three seconds.
The study showed that 53% of respondents incorrectly believe that it is the length of time that food has been on the floor that effects how contaminated the food will be.
And 81% admit to having consumed food that has been on the floor. However just 17% said they had done so in public, with 64% admitting that they had done it in the privacy of their own homes.
When quizzed on why they had done so, 39% said it was because their floors were clean, 26% said it was because they didn’t want to have to cook again, and 19% thought the food looked clean and safe to eat. This is despite the fact that 9% believe that consuming food that has been on the floor has made them ill in the past.
DiscountFlooringDepot.co.uk marketing manager Andrew Nesbitt said: “It’s shocking how many people are happy to consume food off the floor. The research suggests that as many as 81% have potentially ingested harmful household bugs that build up on floors and surfaces, such as salmonella and E.coli.
“We do recommend that our customers should mop hard flooring once a week to reduce and remove bacteria build-up and should disinfect surfaces.”
Men (68%) are more likely to consume food that has been dropped on the floor than women (44%). The cities whose residents are the most likely to put themselves at risk are Leeds, Plymouth and Birmingham.