PARENTS are feeling smug after scientist revealed the ‘five-second rule’ is totally true.

The phrase often used to encourage children that the sweet dropped on the carpet, or the toast you swiftly picked up from the kitchen floor, is safe to eat was proven to be fact by Germ expert Professor Anthony Hilton, from Aston University.

He said “Eating food that has spent a few moments on the floor can never be entirely risk-free.

“Obviously, food covered in visible dirt shouldn’t be eaten, but as long as it’s not obviously contaminated, the science shows that food is unlikely to have picked up harmful bacteria from a few seconds spent on an indoor floor.

“That is not to say that germs can’t transfer from the floor to the food.

“Our research has shown that the nature of the floor surface, the type of food dropped on the floor and the length of time it spends on the floor can all have an impact on the number that can transfer.”

The research was inspired by a survey of 2,000 people in which 79 percent admitted to eating food that had fallen on the floor.