Thus concluded Molly Goettsche and Nicole Moin, two students at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., after empirically testing the rule with Skittles candies and apple slices. The foodstuffs were dropped onto floors then left for 5, 10, 30 and 60 seconds, and 5 minutes. Then surfaces were tested for presence of bacteria by swabbing the foods and culturing the swabbings on agar plates.
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Result for apple slices: Bacteria were not detected at 30 seconds or less but were detected at 1 minute. (The bacteria probably stuck easier to the apple because the slices, unlike the Skittles, were wet.)
Read the whole release at http://aspen.conncoll.edu/news/3464.cfm.
— Rosie Mestel