Why you should never eat food a fly has been on
SEEING a fly land on the food you have been tucking into isn't an uncommon occurrence and most of us just shoo the fly away and continue eating.
After all, it's not like you are going to throw the whole meal away just because of one little fly right?
Well, according to a new study, that is exactly what you should be doing.
Researchers at Penn State University's Eberly College of Science, Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro have found that insects carry a lot more dangerous bacteria than previously thought.
The research, published in Scientific Reports, studied 116 house and blowflies and found that they carry a plethora of potentially harmful bacteria such as to carry salmonella, e-coli and others that can result in stomach ulcers and deadly sepsis.
Flies pick up bacteria from faeces and carcasses where they are often the first organisms to arrive and subsequently feed, breed and lay eggs.
They then transfer these germs to other surfaces and hosts, with the study describing them as the perfect "airborne shuttles" for bacteria.
So when a fly lands on your lunch it is bringing all those nasty germs with it.
"People had some notion that there were pathogens that were carried by flies but had no idea of the extent to which this is true and the extent to which they are transferred," Professor Donald Bryant of Penn State University told BBC News.
The research reveals that the insect's legs appear to transfer the most microbial content from one surface to another, with the results suggesting that flies contribute to the rapid spread of pathogens during the outbreak of a disease among humans.
"We believe that this may show a mechanism for pathogen transmission that has been overlooked by public health officials, and flies may contribute to the rapid transmission of pathogens in outbreak situations," said Professor Bryant.
"It will really make you think twice about eating that potato salad that's been sitting out at your next picnic."