The 5-second rule is a myth that has been busted before (by the Myth Busters, no less) and yet it persists, which is why YouTube's science channel Vsauce has set out and disproved it once and for all. Turns out, the moment your food touches the ground it is covered with bacteria and after a whole 5 seconds, it can pick up anywhere from 150-8000 bacteria and, after a minute, the number is a full 10 times greater. (P.S. It only takes 10 bacteria of certain types of salmonella to infect you. Happy Holidays!)
Interestingly, only 50% of men confess to using the 5-second rule as opposed to a whopping 70% of women. Now seems like a good time to tell you that I once ate a cookie out of the trash. Carpe diem, bitches!
After 1 Minute on the Floor, Food Has 10x the Bacteria as After 5 Seconds [The Atlantic Wire]