Scientists are warning not to eat food a fly has landed on

By on November 27, 2017


Scientists are warning not to eat food a fly has landed on

Scientists are warning not to eat food a fly has landed on

They may seem harmless, but a new study has found the insects carry more diseases than suspected.

Image: iStock

They’re the picnic-ruining bugs that might be depositing disease onto your cheeseboard, a study has warned.

Researchers have found flies carry far more dangerous bacteria than previously thought. In fact, the housefly and the blowfly together harbour more than 600 different bacteria, according to a DNA analysis by scientists at Penn State Eberly College of Science in the US.

"We believe that this may show a mechanism for pathogen transmission that has been overlooked by public health officials," said Donald Bryant, Ernest C Pollard Professor of Biotechnology at Penn State University.

The DNA analysis found houseflies carry salmonella, e-coli and even bacteria which lead to stomach ulcers and bugs, blood poisoning, pneumonia and deadly sepsis.

"It will really make you think twice about eating that potato salad that's been sitting out at your next picnic," Bryant said.

The results, published in the journal Scientific Reports indicated that flies, whose legs appear to transfer the most microbial content from one surface to another, probably pick up the bacteria from faeces and decaying organic matter which they use to nurture their young.

Explains your instinctual reaction to brush them away.

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