What happens to food when a fly lands on it, the truth is much scarier

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What happens to food when a fly lands on it, the truth is much scarier
What happens to food when a fly lands on it, the truth is much scarier

One of the most unpleasant things in summer is undoubtedly the presence of many insects. Especially if you decide to eat outside, or you don't have mosquito nets on your windows, the situation can get very bad

Besides mosquitoes, which can infect us with very dangerous diseases by directly biting us, or driving us crazy with their buzzing, there is another insect that drives people crazy this summer.

It's about the flies. They not only land and buzz us, they also land on a variety of surfaces. But what happens when they land on our food too?

The truth is much worse than you thought

If the pesky fly lands on your food, you will most likely shoo it away with your hand and continue eating. But should you worry about germs?

According to Thomas J. Daniels, Ph. D. and director of the Environmental Laboratory at Fordham University, has at least 100 different species of flies that can carry bacteria, viruses and parasite eggs.

The fly lands on your food

Once the fly has caught the germs, it can spread them in several ways. According to Daniels, bacteria and viruses in contaminated food, manure and other dirty places attach to the fly's body and the tiny hairs on its legs.

When the fly lands on the food, it leaves behind a few of the previously captured microbes. Thus, we are potentially at risk of infection, although the amount of pathogen transmitted is likely to be small.

However, we should be more concerned if the fly stays on the food for a long time and prepares to eat. When a fly lands on food, it doesn't start eating little bits of food off your plate right away. Instead, the insect secretes digestive juices on the food to soften it and only then eat it. But that's not even the worst.

The juices that the fly secretes are full of harmful microorganisms that live inside the insect, and there are more of them than on its legs. That means they are still alive. So they mix with food that the fly absorbs and remain in its mouth until the next meal.

What germs can flies spread?

Scientists know that flies can spread Escherichia coli, salmonella, hepatitis A and rotavirus. This is according to board certified infectious disease specialist and Dr. Brent Laartz.

Flies can also spread Shigella, a group of bacteria that cause dysentery. Shigella can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain.

Don't panic

But before you throw all the food off the table, it's worth knowing that not every fly carries the germs listed above. The above mentioned are all fecal bacteria and viruses that are not present in every fly's food.

Experts say the fly would have to land on raw meat or feces to spread these bacteria and viruses into your food. The cleaner your kitchen is, the less likely a fly will land on something dirty and dangerous and then on your food.

Also, just one fly on your plate does not mean you will catch any infection. It all depends on how many harmful microorganisms the fly carries, how long it sits on your food and how strong your immunity is. You may not get infected at all.

You should be more worried when eating in a place with many insects, for example, if you are on a picnic in nature. In this case, try to cover the food when not eating it.

Experts advise throwing away food that you left uncovered and there are lots of insects around.

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