Should You Eat Food Dropped On The Floor?

For gastronomes and hungry ones, their favorite food accidently falling on the floor or carpet can be a hugely depressing experience. The misery can be even more when only a few portions are left on the table. It becomes tough to decide whether to let go or to pick the food from the floor and eat it. To better understand if one should eat the food dropped on the floor, here are some important things to understand.

Type of food – From a health perspective, it is never advisable to pick up food from the floor or carpet and eat it. However, if you just can’t let go or if the entire thing has dropped on the floor, it would be better to differentiate between low risk and high-risk foods. Low risk foods will be dry food items such as biscuits, cookies, bread, crackers, etc. that do not have any sticky stuff on its surface. Such food items will attract minimal bacteria and other microorganisms when dropped on the floor.

In comparison, it would be better to avoid eating dropped food items that are sticky or greasy on the outside. For example, donuts, pizza slices, fried food items, etc. No matter how quickly you pick up food from the floor or carpet, such items will always attract microorganisms. It may look clean on the surface, but things will be a lot unsightly under a microscope.

How clean is the floor – When was the last time the floor was cleaned? Did you use an antibacterial floor cleaner or plain water? Is the carpet vacuumed regularly? Do you have pets with easy access to the outside world? Answers to these questions will essentially tell you how much bacterial, viral or fungal load is there on the floor or carpet. The cleaner the floor, the lesser risk will be there when picking up and eating food that is dropped onto the floor. Vice-versa is also true.

Better to remove the top layer – If you are adamant on eating food that is dropped on the floor, it will be better to remove the top layer. This may be possible to do in some types of food items. For example, pastry, donut, burger, fruit slices, etc. Some food items with cream or cheese on top will automatically have the top layer discarded on the floor. The rest of it can be carefully picked up and eaten.

As is evident from above, picking up and eating food from the floor will always be a risky proposition. However, there are circumstances when the risk is very low, moderate and very high. It is up to you how you assess the situation and make a decision.

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