Exclusive: Study Reveals Americans' Most Common Lies in the Kitchen and at the Table

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Unwashed hands, the five-second rule and concealing unwanted food in napkins. A recent study at Angie’s List looked into how 2,000 variably honest Americans handled the heat in their kitchen and other culinary confessions.

The kitchen is the most germ-ridden part of the home, as one study found that the kitchen sink harbors 100,000 times more germs than the bathroom. This is why the U.S. government and CDC stress the importance of properly washing your hands before cooking. However, roughly only a third of Americans actually do this, with nearly 67 percent of cooks admitting to preparing food with unwashed hands.

Food-borne illnesses can also spread through the consumption of food that was dropped on the floor. Angie’s List’s study found that 40 percent of people believe the five-second rule makes it acceptable to still serve food that has touched the ground. Similarly, nearly a quarter of respondents admitted they would still serve food that had been dropped on the floor if no one saw.

In addition, the study analyzed how men and women stacked up when it comes to serving a plate of lies. Almost six percent of men have falsely told guests that a meal is vegetarian or gluten-free, as compared to less than four percent of their female counterparts. Men were also more likely to knowingly serve food on dirty dishes or spit in someone’s food.

While men took the lead in poor kitchen hygiene, women had higher percentages in four of the nine unsavory guest behavior categories. The largest gender gap pertained to lying to a host about loving their food. 79 percent of women admitted to the offense, with more than half confessing they secretly stashed unwanted food in a napkin.

In general, white lies involving the kitchen are mostly harmless, granted that diners’ allergies are taken into consideration, and guests leave partially eaten food on their own plates. Brief yourself on other kitchen confessions and check out which U.S. states boast the best behavior here.