Should you follow the 5-second rule?

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Most of us have heard of the 5-second rule.

That's when you pick up dropped food within 5 seconds -- and you convince yourself it's safe to eat.

Well, crazy as it may seem... scientists have done studies on this rule. And researchers from Rutgers University have debunked it.

They dropped watermelon, bread, bread with butter, and gummy candy on stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet.

Then they examined bacteria levels on the food -- and for some of the items, contamination was instant.

Researchers say the contamination level drops depending on how dirty the floor is -- and how much bacteria can make it from floor to food in a few seconds.

So... some food for thought for floor eaters ... the next time you feel like using the 5-second rule, consider this:

While the odds are in your favor that you won't get sick and that it's relatively harmless -- the food you are putting into your mouth IS contaminated.