Definition of five-second rule in English:

five-second rule

noun

humorous
  • A notional rule stating that food which has been dropped on the ground will still be uncontaminated with bacteria and therefore safe to eat if it is retrieved within five seconds.

    ‘was I right to apply the five-second rule to the three slices of ham that left a damp, greasy ring on the kitchen floor?’
    • ‘The five-second rule didn't apply to a tray of jerk chicken dropped on the floor.’
    • ‘Do you have a five-second rule in your house?’
    • ‘I observe the five-second rule - or the five-hour rule - when cookies are dropped on the floor.’
    • ‘During training, she was told about the "five-second rule": If something falls on the floor but you pick it up within five seconds, you can still use it in a sandwich.’
    • ‘Their findings support the idea that there really is such a thing as the five-second rule for moist snacks, such as wet pasta and sticky gummy bears.’
    • ‘Women are the biggest believers in the five-second rule, with 81 per cent admitting to following it.’
    • ‘And in Spring 2004, research was described on the five-second rule - a piece of folklore that holds that if something is dropped on the floor it is still safe to eat if it is retrieved within five seconds.’
    • ‘Dropped grill items, ice cream cones that topple, pacifiers that fit the floor - most of us have employed the five-second rule at some point to salvage a lost item.’
    • ‘There's clearly no need for the "Five-second Rule" in our house.’
    • ‘TV's cleaning expert Aggie MacKenzie says it is easy to avoid food poisoning, and dispels myths about 'the five-second rule'.’