From time to time, everyone has a fly land in their food. There's a good reason why the response should be to throw it out.
Everyone has heard that flies are dirty and carry all sorts of germs when they land on food, but the truth is even more disturbing than one might think.
As reported by Shared, if a fly has gone to sit in the food, it's best to just throw it out. There are more than just the germs on the insect's legs to worry about.
Flies do not have any teeth, so they feed by sucking fluids through their nose. But because most human food is in solid form, the fly first has to liquefy it. They do this by vomiting their saliva onto the food.
As flies eat everything, what they are actually regurgitating onto food is any nasty pathogen that came from manure, rotten meat, and anything else they may have chosen to snack on.
"House flies are the movers of any disgusting pathogenic microorganism you can think of," Jeff Scott, an entomologist at Cornell University, said.
"Anything that comes out of an animal, such as bacteria and viruses, house flies can take from that waste and deposit on your sandwich."
This means that flies are capable of transmitting hundreds of different diseases into the food, including things like Salmonella, tuberculosis, and cholera.
There are other ways that flies contaminate food. If left out for too long, flies nest in the food, and defecate and lay their eggs in it.
Fortunately, this generally only happens when food has been left out for a significant period of time, and is why they are often found around the trash can.
According to the results of a study at Penn State Eberly College of Science, if there are flies on the food, just for safety's sake, it's probably best to throw it away.
Even if they are flicked away relatively quickly, their legs are still capable of leaving pathogens from their other feeding grounds on the food.
In any event, the best protection in the case of flies is to ensure that food is always covered, even if flies are uncommon in the area. Better to be safe than sorry!