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It may have happened to all of you / Have you ever had flies in your food? The lab director points out the serious illnesses that can be caused
Written by SOT.COM.AL 29 Qershor 2022
When an annoying fly touches your food, you probably remove it and continue eating. Is this a good decision, though, or should you worry more about the germs it may have left on your meal?
There are at least 100 different pathogens that can be carried by houseflies, such as bacteria, viruses and parasite eggs, says Thomas J. Daniels, director of the Louis Calder Center Laboratory at Fordam University, writes The Healthy.
Once a fly catches germs, it can spread the disease in several ways. Bacteria and viruses in contaminated food, feces and other places that attract germs attach to the fly's body and small hairs on its legs, Daniels says. When it flies and lands somewhere else, for example, in your food, it leaves some of those germs behind.
"We are also at risk of being infected by a common household fly when it comes down to our meal, even though the amount of pathogen it carries is probably small," Daniels said.
"When a fly sits on your meal, it does not bite into small pieces of food from your plate. "Instead, the insect releases soluble liquids onto the food to dissolve it enough to be able to swallow it in a liquid state."
However, this is not the worst part of this process. The pathogens inside the fly live longer than the ones she caught with her feet in the meantime, so germs from fly vomit are the most dangerous to us of all.
Flies can transmit Escherichia coli, salmonella, hepatitis A and rotavirus which cause diarrhea, fever and stomach pain.
"If you see flies buzzing about food that you have left uncovered for a while, it would be best to throw it away if you take care of your health and that of your loved one," advises Daniels.