During a science internship last summer, Jillian experimented by dropping gummy bears and cookies on floor tiles she had coated with bacteria. After five seconds, some microorganisms had already transferred to the food.
The good news? When she sampled floors--even busy ones near vending machines--Jillian found surprisingly few bacteria. One possible reason: Bacteria need moisture to survive, and most floors are pretty dry.
That's why Jillian isn't usually afraid to retrieve a dropped treat from a dry floor. "But I'd be more likely to pick up a cookie than something wet and sticky," she says.
FALLEN FOOD: Jillian found that sticky foods, like gummy bears, pick up more bacteria from the floor than dry foods like cookies do.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||Life/Bacteria; food dropped on the floor|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jan 12, 2004|
|Previous Article:||Home away from home.|
|Next Article:||Volcano season.|
|Bacterial contamination of food by cockroaches.|
|Keeping food safe.|
|Mob action: peer pressure in the bacterial world.|
|Wash-resistant bacteria taint foods.|
|Fighting food bugs.|
|Antibiotic resistance is coming to dinner.|