Bite your nails? Drop food on the floor and STILL eat it? It may be time to review your hygiene habits



FALSE -The five-second rule of dropping and eating your food.

By dismissing this as a fib, we don’t mean to say that the 30-second variation of the food-savvy ‘rule’ is something to go by – dropping and eating your food, regardless of how short its contact with an unclean surface, is a no-no. And five seconds does count, where clingy bacteria’s concerned. Nobel Prize winner in public health Jillian Clarke found that gummy bears and biscuits dropped on E. Coli-contaminated ceramic tiles were contaminated after a paltry five-seconds. No, not even if you mopped yesterday.

HALF TRUE – Biting your fingernails IS as bad as licking a toilet seat. 
Depending on how often you wash your hands, bite your fingernails and clean your toilet seat, this belief could be true to some extent. Researchers have found illness-inducing germs lie beneath people’s fingernails, with activities such as handling meat and changing diapers as well as poor hygiene being the main culprits for leaving behind germs. Toilet seats could be just as germy, too, with evaporated water vapour from the toilet bowel settling on the surface of your toilet seat.

TRUE – You shouldn’t share drinks or meals.
Sharing meals and drinks can spread helicobactor pylori, a common microaerophilic bacterium found in the stomach. While the majority of infected people show no symptoms, it can cause ongoing abdominal pain and bloating or could lead to chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers.

And not just as a nod to etiquette. With studies indicating that an uncovered sneeze can give up to 150 people a cold, sneezing with unfiltered abandon is not only impolite, it’s a recipe for sickies en masse. Just remember to wash your hands after using a tissue or hanky, or those sneeze droplets will leave your lurgy on whatever you touch. Bless you.

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