Rise in foodborne diseases expected due to climate change

Rise in foodborne diseases expected due to climate change

Rise in foodborne diseases expected due to climate change. Climate change is expected to lead to an increase in foodborne infections. It presents a growing public health risk in Germany, according to scientists.

One of a series of articles focuses on the influence of climate change on foodborne intoxications. The articles was published in the Robert Koch Institute’s Journal of Health Monitoring.

The review looks at hazards to human health posed by relevant foodborne bacteria, parasites, and marine biotoxins in Germany. Including Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Vibrio, as well as the parasites Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Climate change can result in higher air and water temperatures, increased precipitation, or water scarcity. For example, in the future, agriculture may have to rely more on treated wastewater due to water shortages. This poses a risk to food safety, because of possible contamination of irrigated produce by pathogens, said researchers.

Campylobacter, Salmonella and Vibrio

Campylobacter infections are typically seasonal, with most cases in the summer months from July to September. With progressive warming as a result of climate change and the associated prolonged warm periods, an increase in cases is expected.

It is also possible that during summer months, increased temperatures lead to higher prevalence in poultry flocks and greater exposure of consumers via consumption of poultry meat, according to the study.

Altered behaviors during summer months could have an indirect effect on the rise in infections, such as more frequent barbecuing of poultry and other meats, or swimming in surface waters. An increase in infections and outbreaks has also been observed after heavy rains and flooding.

In Europe, most salmonellosis cases are reported during the summer months.

The favored growth of Salmonella at higher temperatures leads to higher concentrations in contaminated foods during warmer periods. Among other things, this is linked to poor food preparation and refrigeration during barbecues or picnics, which are also more common in summer. Elevated temperatures increase the risk of cold chain disruption, which can have a significant impact on the microbiological status of food.

Read more at foodsafetynews.com

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