The science wasn't settled after all, it seems

"Five second rule" for food dropped on the floor is expanded to 30 minutes. And that's for tiled floors. Carpet? Pick up that piece of toast when you're good and godamned ready to.

In a boon for parents and clumsy cooks everywhere, a scientific study has found the five seconds guideline could be vastly extended to half an hour.

"T] he chances of anyone getting ill from dropping food on the floor at home are infinitesimally small."

My uncle Gerard, a noted child psychiatrist and father of five, told me soon after John was born, that one of the benefits of being a parent was that it helped overcome any germ phobias you might have: 'You see your child eat an ice cream cone she's dropped on the sidewalk, and five years later, she's still alive and walking around.". 

That Uncle Gary.