Flies On Food Making You Sick, The Disgusting Truth:
Summer and the warm months of the year are a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors.
Along with all the activities we plan for that time, we end up smearing & spraying all kinds of chemicals on us to deal with the sun and also Bugs.
And on that note, one of the best parts of Spring+Summer has a brand new warning.
Because it turns out that especially for Outdoor Eating of any kind,
Researchers found that Flies are much more dangerous than anyone thought before…
Shoo-Fly Is A Really Good Instinct!:
Our natural inclination is to swat bugs away as quickly as possible.
Now if only there were such a thing as bug-spray for food!,
Because mosquitoes are dangerous enough, but researchers who studied Flies in 3 different types of environments found that a fly landing and then taking-off again quickly is actually still harmful.
And the 5-Second-Rule from dropping food on the floor doesn’t even apply.
From tests gathered on 3 different continents in as many different locations,
It turns out that Flies leave behind bacteria wherever they land or crawl, no matter how long it lasts for.
Somehow, whatever they land elsewhere gets transported across-town, right onto your potato-salad. BLECH!
Bullet With Butterfly Wings:
So if pigeons are flying-rats, then flies are tiny s**t-bullets.
Maybe we just need to all become more like Floridians and invest in some serious UV-bug-zapper firepower.
Because that delicious summer food might be something you really want to throw out after reading this.
Researchers in the US, Brazil, & Singapore found that for the 2 most common types of flies,
They leave behind some of the harmful bacteria that sticks to their wings & legs when they land on the nasty things flies usually do,
And that grim crud does not seem to fall off as they fly all the way across-town right onto your picnic-plate.
These harmful microbes include as many as 350 different types.
Just a few of them are:
1) H. Pylori
2) H. Pylori’s cousin H. Cetorum
3) E. Coli
5) Botulism’s cousin, Clostridium Perfringens
6) Klebsiella Pneumoniae
And the health problems those 6 and the 345+ others cause include things like:
1) Stomach Ulcers & Possibly Intestinal Cancers
2) Stomach & Intestinal Inflammation
3) Stomach Flu
7) Skin & Soft-Tissue Infections
Flies On Food Make You Sicker In Certain Hot Zones:
Believe it or not, some locations are actually safer than others.
For some reason, the higher the population density and the closer to a city-center,
The higher the risk.
So having a picnic farther out from the central park of a city, near a forest instead is a much safer bet.
Also, locations closer to rural areas like horse-stables seemed to have fewer harmful microbes transmitted.
News To Me!:
Even though the 2 main types of flies are implicated in transmission of 60+ major types of disease including:
For some reason, their role in transmitting harmful microbes has not been taken as-seriously until now.
It may have even been overlooked by the exact type of local-officials whose business it is to help us avoid diseases in the first place.
First Of Its Kind Research:
And honestly, the trails of harmful microbes they leave everywhere they go haven’t been analyzed & documented as accurately until now down to the DNA-level, either.
So in the middle of a fun summer day, or especially a picnic or cookout, the presence of a few flies may seem pretty trivial,
But it’s actually a bit more serious than anyone used to think.
-Especially for the very young, the very old, or the otherwise immune-compromised.
Even a normal, healthy adult could end up with a Chipotle-grade experience from just one fly.
So be careful of food left-out too long, and as silly and a bit too “Florida” as it may seem, maybe invest in a few really good UV bug-zappers to avoid getting sick if flies land on your food this summer.
Photo Credits: “Park and Picnic”, by Amy Liscomb
• Source: PSU
• Source Study: SciRep – The microbiomes of blowflies and houseflies as bacterial transmission reservoirs