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Location: Tampa, Florida, United States

A girl living in Tampa Bay for the last 11 years. I mostly fill my time with friends, creative hobbies like community theater and arts and crafts, movies and tv, and other random fun things to try.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

5 Second Rule?

On Monday, I had a lunch meeting at the College of Public Health at USF. Lunch meetings where lunch is provided is a rarity in these days of budget cuts. As it turns out, the delivery guy forgot out cookies. So the meeting attendees had all sat down to their lunches by the time the cookies made it to the room. Since I was presenting, and would be talking through most of the meeting, I opted to get a cookie before we began so that I would indeed get one. I stood up and went to grab an oatmeal raisin one. It was crumbly, and fell apart when I picked it up. It fell onto the floor and rolled under the desk where the food had been placed.

So while everyone watched, I had to crawl down on my hands and knees to pick up this fallen cookie (a majority of the cookie -- only a small crumb had remained in my hand). So I picked it up and threw it in the trash. The hostess of the meeting said, "Did you throw that away?" And I said, yes, it had been on the ground. She then dug the cookie out of the trash, wiped it with a dry paper towel, and handed it back to me!!

Everyone else at the table -- Ph.D.'s in Public Health, mind you, basically told me that with the 5 second rule, it was fine! When I asked, did the COPH faculty indeed endorse the 5-second rule, they confirmed that they subscribed to conventional wisdom.

Now, had she wiped the cookie off from the floor and handed it back to me, I probably would have just been grossed out a little, but it made my skin crawl that she'd fished it out of the garbage can to hand back to me. I sat there through the whole meeting and didn't eat it. At the end of the meeting, one of the non-Ph.D.'s in the room (representing the college's administration), offered me a replacement cookie out of the box. So all's well that ends well.

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