In most instances, spotting a fly on your food doesn't mean you need to throw it out. While there is little doubt that flies can carry bacteria, viruses and parasites from waste to our food, a single touchdown is unlikely to trigger a chain reaction leading to illness for the average healthy person.


Flies that land out of sight and wander about for a few minutes vomiting and pooping on your food or food preparation area are more of a concern. The more time passes, the greater the chance of pathogens left behind by the flies growing and multiplying on our food. That's when health risks increase.


Having plenty of flies about can be a concern but risk is generally higher in regions away from the city. There are not only likely to be higher numbers of flies but a greater chance they'll be in contact with dead animals and animal waste.


There is no shortage of opportunities for flies in the city either but, for the most part, insecticides and improved hygiene standards assist in fly control and minimising the risk of contact with contaminated substances.


Ensure your food is covered while preparing, cooking and serving outdoors and don't leave "leftovers" sitting about outside for the flies. There are plenty of other reasons food safety is important over the summer, not just to stop flies touching down.


Screening windows and doors will help block flies from coming inside, but also minimising garbage around the house is critical. Ensure bins are cleaned regularly, household garbage is covered and animal waste is routinely cleaned up. The addition of insecticidal surface sprays around bin areas will help and, inside the home, a range of knockdown sprays will keep the numbers of flies down.


An old-school fly swat works a treat too.