Surprising Discovery About Cinema Popcorn

Surprising Discovery About Cinema Popcorn

Who doesn't love the thrill of catching a movie at the cinema? The anticipation builds as you settle into your seat, armed with your favorite snacks. For many of us, popcorn is the quintessential movie treat, alongside the tempting allure of pick n' mix and the ever-present bags of overpriced chocolate.

But what if I told you that a recent discovery by a microbiologist might make you reconsider that tub of cinema popcorn? Tim, the face behind the popular TikTok account @whatmightgrow, decided to delve into the world of cinema snacks with an eye-opening experiment.

@whatmightgrow Storytime: In this fun experiment, I went to a movie theater and tested the popcorn they sold. Additionally, for comparison, I grabbed some popcorn off the floor to show that bacteria can grow on popcorn. Unsuprisingly, popcorn from the floor is filthy. However, when I worked as an environmental microbiologist for various industries, this is a common test procedure and I would test items that would be commonly found on the floor. Often I would test factory workers shoes and EVERY SINGLE TIME I would find some of the craziest growths and via PCR it was determined to almost always have pathogens present. The most common pathogen I would see were Staphylococcus, Listeria, E. Coli, and Salmonella. The lesson of this mini experiment is to show what you would find if you were to eat things off the floor. I wish I knew this as a little kid, because I was notorious for going to the candy section where you could scoop out candy into bags, and eating any candy that was on the floor. If I were to guess, the small amount of bacteria found on the “fresh” popcorn would be Staphylococcus which is commonly found on humans and probably came from myself or the movie theater workers. The growth from the floor popcorn could literally be anything and would need PCR for identification. #popcorn #movie #microbiology #bacteria #science #fyp #longervideos ♬ Runaway - Piano Rendition - The Blue Notes & L'Orchestra Cinematique

In a video that's equal parts fascinating and stomach-churning, Tim set out to investigate the cleanliness of cinema popcorn. He collected samples from two sources: fresh popcorn straight from the paper bag and popcorn that had taken a tumble onto the cinema floor during the movie.

Back in his lab, Tim meticulously placed the samples into petri dishes and set them in the incubator, waiting for the results to unfold.

What he found was enough to make anyone think twice about the infamous 'five-second rule'. The popcorn from the floor was teeming with bacteria and fungus, painting a less-than-appetizing picture of cinema hygiene.

Surprising Discovery About Cinema Popcorn

On the other hand, the 'fresh' popcorn showed a smaller amount of bacteria, likely Staphylococcus, a common bacterium found on human skin.

Tim, drawing from his experience as a microbiologist, shared, "In this fun little experiment, I ventured into a movie theater to test their popcorn. As an added comparison, I snagged some popcorn from the floor to demonstrate how bacteria can thrive in unexpected places. Predictably, the floor popcorn was less than sanitary."

Reflecting on his past experiences, Tim revealed, "During my days in the lab, I often tested items that had fallen on the floor. Without fail, I'd encounter some of the most surprising growths, with PCR analysis often revealing the presence of pathogens. Among the common culprits were Staphylococcus, Listeria, E. Coli, and Salmonella."

So, the next time you're tempted to invoke the 'five-second rule' after a snack mishap, it might be worth pausing for thought.

Surprising Discovery About Cinema Popcorn

Tim concludes with a sage piece of advice, "The takeaway from this little experiment is to consider what you might encounter if you indulge in floor food. I wish I had known this as a kid, especially during those candy aisle adventures where I'd scoop up treats into bags and sneakily sample any fallen goodies."

The reactions poured in from viewers, echoing a collective sense of horror and realization. One commenter aptly summarized, "Lesson learned: no more floor popcorn!" Another chimed in, "Forget the five-second rule—this is eye-opening."

Consider this a friendly reminder to ponder the origins of your movie snacks. This revelation might just have us all rethinking our snacking habits next time we hit the cinema.

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