Is it okay to eat food that has landed on a fly? the doctor answers
Irina Dvorkina July 8, 2023, 15:30 Moscow time
These insects can reward you with serious diseases.
general practitioner, former director of the Hillel Foundation in Saratov
Everyone at least once in their life had to irritably brush off an annoying fly that persistently hovered near food. Or make tea again, because the flying person has already landed in a cup. For hygienic reasons, many disdain to eat a dish where an insect has visited, but are they right in their fears?
What do flies do when they land on food?
The digestive system of insects is simpler than that of humans. They have no teeth and cannot bite a piece of food. However, their “saliva” contains enzymes that allow insects to feed. In fact, they spit in their food, which sounds disgusting enough. This process begins a few minutes or seconds after the fly lands.
that flies carry
Musca domestica, commonly known as the house fly, is one of the most common nuisance insects in the world. These are not butterflies from fairy tales, and such insects do not flutter on flowers, but often on garbage and droppings.
What to do if a cockroach, a hair or a glass gets caught on a plate in a restaurant? The lawyer replies that flies carry twice as many bacteria as cockroaches. The main threat may not be lurking in the spit, but rather on the paws.
Should food be thrown away?
In most cases, if you find a fly on a plate, it doesn’t mean you should throw it away right away. No one doubts that insects can carry bacteria, viruses and parasites from waste to food, but touching them alone is unlikely to cause harm to health.
The risk is increased if the fly landed on the food out of sight, stayed there for a while, and managed to leave a trail. The longer they stay in the dish, the more likely it is that the pathogens they left behind will grow and multiply there. In such cases, you can become infected with salmonella or E. coli.
Follow safety rules at picnics or at home if flies are common in your area:
Cover food when cooking and/or serving outdoors Protect windows and doors with screens to reduce the possibility of food entering your home Keep trash bins clean and remove debris from your home Use fly control products : duct tape, sprays and a good old fly swatter.
6 dangers that lie in wait for us in nature. How to avoid them
Want more tips and tricks for a healthy lifestyle?
Sign up for the weekly lifestyle newsletter.