eating on the floor

Eating Off The Floor

Will this kill you?

Recently I saw an alarming video clip from the Today show.  The people being interviewed talked about all the horrible, dangerous, bacteria-laden filth that covers our floors.

They made it sound as if you dropped a Cheerio on your floor, then picked it up and popped it in your mouth,you would keel over dead in a matter of seconds!

People!  Stop and think! Since elementary school science class you have known that there are germs everywhere.

Not only germs on the floor but germs in the air, in the water, on your table, in your bed, your blender…  We live surrounded by them, even covered in them, every day!

I’m grossed out every time I see that commercial about how your mattress doubles in weight because of all the dust mite carcasses that collect there!

But be honest.  You have to admit that, at least once in your life, you have eaten something off the floor. Maybe you dropped a Frito or an Oreo….

Anyway, what happened when you ate it? Chances are, if you’re reading this, you didn’t die.  Did you have to call 911?  Did you have to take to your bed for several days?

Did you have even one tiny symptom of illness from eating that food off the floor?  Most likely, the answer is NOTHING happened!

Have you ever personally know someone who got sick or died from eating something off the floor?  Probably not.

eat or not eat

In fact, have you ever seen a news story about someone who died as a result of floor-eating? I haven’t.

Now, I’m not saying that floors are sterile and we should eat entire meals off them.  I’m not saying that you should allow your child to lick the floor.  And there are some people with compromised  immune systems who have to be much more cautious than the rest of us.

What I’m trying to say is you should apply your own personal knowledge base to a situation before panicking  over alarmist stories you see on TV.  After all, television is in the entertainment business, and stories with a disgusting factor are big sellers.

I once saw a documentary about all the micro-organisms that live on your skin.  It made me feel itchy for days picturing all those critters slithering and crawling all over me.


But, when I breast fed my baby, I didn’t dip my boobies in boiling water or pour bleach on them!  Children have been nursing for generations and I’ve never heard of a single one who was killed by breast bacteria!

I suggest coming up with a list of floor eating rules that are within your tolerance level.  Here’s my list:

  1. Don’t eat mushy food that has to be scraped up off the floor (mashed potatoes, custard, etc.)
  2. Don’t eat off floors in public places.  I used to teach high school and would not even walk barefoot there!
  3. If you have guests, don’t serve them food that has touched the floor.  You can’t force your rules on others.
  4. Don’t eat food off the floor if you didn’t see it being dropped.  It could have fallen from the neighbor boy’s mouth.
  5. If the dropped food is protected by a colorful candy shell, you are home free!  Those suckers have magic properties and can even survive for weeks between couch cushions!
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