What is the risk of fruit flies to human health?
Commonly, fruit flies invade foods that have quality problems, such as bruises, rotting, or parts that have been damaged by fungi or bacteria.
Have you ever been about to take a fruit at the supermarket and suddenly you see a little fly flying from its peel? People, commonly, have a natural aversion to these insects, so the most recurrent reaction would be to leave the fruit and choose one that has not been "contaminated" by the fly. Does this make any sense?
Miguel Ángel Martínez Téllez, an academic from the Coordination of Plant-Based Food Technology at the Center for Research in Food and Development (CIAD), explains the real risks of consuming a fruit that has been in contact with the famous "fruit fly".
The scientific name of the insect in question is Drosophila melanogaster, which feeds on fruits in the process of fermentation, and is different from the fly that commonly invades domestic kitchens, which is larger and darker, whose scientific name is Musca domestica.
Although it is more common to see the fruit fly flying over these foods in supermarkets, this bug is also found in crops, and if it happens that the insect deposits its eggs in the peel of a fruit, they will hatch at some point in the marketing chain, i.e., in warehouses, supermarkets or even in consumers' homes.
It is common for fruit flies to invade foods that have quality problems, such as bruises, rotting or parts that have been damaged by fungi or bacteria.
Even though there is no scientific evidence that fruit flies or their eggs affect human health through consumption, he pointed out that their presence in the different stages of the commercialization chain is synonymous with sanitary control deficiencies that need to be resolved, since a quality problem (appearance of the fruit) can become a safety issue (potential to affect human health),
In the case of the house fly, the most common insect in our homes, there is evidence that its contact with our food can be a vehicle for transmitting diseases such as cholera, dysentery or salmonellosis, among others, since its legs can carry pathogens whose presence is common in fecal matter and rotting garbage.