The widely adhered-to but ill-advised Five-Second Rule is still contested.
Though scientifically, it's pretty much case closed at this point (there are potential health risks, even after only five seconds), the onus is still on you to decide what to do with the burrito or Hot Pocket that you patiently microwaved but dropped on your (presumably dirty) floor in a drunken haze. For many, food safety is in the eye of the beholder.
One thing you don't want, however, is that decision to be made for you—especially when the amount of elapsed time far supersedes those five golden seconds. But that Russian roulette-like scenario seems to have been the case for doughnut enthusiasts living near Mendon, Massachusetts, back in November 2015.
A recent video, posted on Facebook, has emerged, showing the manager of the local Dunkin' Donuts clumsily dropping an entire tray of freshly cooked doughnuts. Then, after a few seconds of hesitation and looking over at her co-worker, the unnamed manager picks them off the floor and places them back in the display case, to be sold to unsuspecting diners.
Liam Flaherty, the former Dunkin' Donuts employee who posted the video online, added that he quit because of this and other health-related, dirty-doughnut issues. "This was brought to the attention of the store owners & management who dismissed it as no big deal," he wrote. "The conditions of that store are so deplorable I won't ever eat there again! Ask any former employee. Disgusting."
"People ate those donuts that fell and touched the ground," Flaherty later told ABC News. "And [the manager] was just OK with that." Disgusting indeed.
MUNCHIES contacted the Mendon doughnut shop at the center of this affair, but they refused to comment. Dunkin' Donuts, for its part, has released the following statement:
"We are aware of the video and we take matters like this very seriously. The actions seen in the video at a franchised Dunkin' Donuts restaurant are absolutely inconsistent with our strict food safety standards and requirements. According to the franchisee, upon hearing of this incident in November 2015, he investigated the matter and met with the employee to discuss the fact that the donuts should have been immediately disposed of in keeping with our standards."
While Dunkin' Donuts claims that the Massachusetts location cleaned up its act, the fallout is likely to last far longer than five seconds.