The 5 second rule is used to suggest that food that has fallen on the ground/floor is still fine to eat, as long as it has only been there 5 seconds or less.
Commonly the rule is simply extended to however many seconds is necessary to declare the food still edible (ex: 20-second rule).
"Aww crap, I dropped my hot dog on the ground." "It's alright: 5 second rule."
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